Waltja works like this
Waltja learns what’s happening in the community from the Directors. Directors talk to Executive. Exec talks with CEO and she talks with workers. Waltja workers are invited by the Directors to come to the community. They stay. They meet the Directors and their families. They make friends. They become family. They listen to all people in the community with the directors, young and old, men and women. We work together, Anangu/Yapa and Kardiya, workers. (Aboriginal and non Aboriginal) and Directors and community. It gives Waltja a better understanding of community and what people need, and gives us a strong voice with communities and with government. We make family from far and near. That’s why we called the organisation Waltja—family. Tjutangku means for a big lot and Palyapayi mean we are doing good. This is Luritja language, a common language that all the different language groups can understand. Waltja Tjutangku Palypayi, doing good work with families. At Waltja the Directors don’t just sit around a big table and talk about things a long way from them. They have a strong voice. They go with the workers around the community, they find good leaders and young people to help them and work alongside them, look after them. They sit down together and listen to each other and to the people on community. They help everyone to be involved and to have a voice.
The Waltja Way
Waltja’s Directors are the foundation of how we work, how Waltja connects with community and how we evaluate our processes and programs and their impact. All our policies, programs, projects and activities follow the values and priorities of these senior women. Local Aboriginal ways of doing business are incorporated into Waltja’s values, processes and organisational structure which is known as the Waltja Way. The Waltja Way gives Waltja an overall approach which is unique. The Waltja Way is recognised and appreciated by members, families and other organisations we work with.
Family is the foundation of Aboriginal community and identity. Service delivery is most effective when it occurs in the context of family as understood by Aboriginal people. Waltja promotes self-reliance and dignity. Waltja works with everyone in the community.
Direct service delivery is most effective when provided by local people who have access to training and support to ensure quality outcomes.
Building and sustaining partnerships with Aboriginal communities is the most effective way of providing services to families.
Direct services need to be located in, and supported by, local communities.