“We are from different communities and we speak different languages, but we understand each other. Today we want to tell you some stories from our communities about helping people with disability live a good life”.
A bit about Waltja: “Waltja is governed by a board of directors who are all Aboriginal women who live in the remote communities where we work. Waltja provides services to communities like youth work, disability, art and social enterprise, and Waltja holds aged and disability festivals”.
Our core values and principles are around families, local services driven by local people and we work in partnership with families and other organisations.
We have big meetings 3 times a year where Directors get together. We talk about what’s happening in our communities. We share ideas and good ways of doing things. Directors make decisions about what Waltja should do. We look at funding and work with the auditor to look after the money in a proper way.
I was an Aboriginal health worker for over 20 years and I was involved with aged and disability working with physios and OTs. When we started up aged and disability in Willowra in 93 or 94 we worked with Remote Health, Government allied health, Congress Aboriginal Medical Service, Tangentyere and other communities like Yuendumu and Nyirrpi all working well together.
YOPP helps people with a disability. We help with showering, transport, meals and medication.YOPP helps visitors too, if they come for sports, royalty meetings, ceremony. I am the chairwoman of YOPP. We have a board of directors to make sure we look after people the right way. We bring our knowledge of what’s important, what we know, and what we have done before.
A good way of running disability services is two ways of rules, side by side: Yapa – Aboriginal way, and Kardiya – European way. Family with disability living in town – in a group home away from their family – we need to look after them too. They might not know their dreamings. Maybe they forgot their language.
They are missing out on what they’ve been doing before. Sometimes the door’s not open for family to go in, or family come to visit but forget about them and go somewhere else in town. They want to be with family.
We need a big residential care place on community. We need one in Papunya, to look after the people from Kintore, Papunya, Mt Liebig and Haasts Bluff Family could visit them there easily. Kardiya (non-Aboriginal people) should come and work on Aboriginal land. .
Old people and people with disability could sit down outside, next to a fire, on country, and feel the wind. Irene showed a photo of two women’s Tjukurrpa (dreaming place) near Kintore.
That circle in the rock is the mangguri – a ring-shaped pad of hairstring and grass for carrying stuff on your head Anangu – Aboriginal people – need to know these places. Hilary Tjapangardi is my uncle. He lives at Kintore and gets renal at Purple House. In the past, Hilary used to stay home, except when Purple House picked him up for renal. Now he has a scooter, he can go by himself to renal, to the clinic, to the art centre, to the shop. He can’t fit the scooter in the shop but the store manager comes out and takes his order and brings it out to him.
Mia Mulladad spoke about how to keep tyerrtye – Aboriginal people – strong including country visits, collecting and making bush medicine like rubbing medicines and creams, healing sicknesses with songs, fire, smoking is medicine too – this makes’ babies strong,