Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi

'Doing Good Work with Families'

What is your role at Waltja?

I am Waltja’s Emergency Relief Worker and I am also working for the Culture and Language Program.

When did you start working at Waltja?

I started working for Waltja in February 2014.

What have you enjoyed so far about working at Waltja?

Waltja is a great place to work for. There are always new things to do and learn and together as a team you can manage a lot of the challenges. Everyone is respectful and supportive of each other. Waltja Directors are there for us and help us to understand what is important for their community.

This is really important also for my role as the Emergency Relief Worker- getting to know the families and the sort of assistance they require in times of hardship. I enjoy helping people and exploring ways for them to help themselves.

It is really special to visit the country Waltja families come from and to learn how strong their connection to country is. In the Culture and Language Program we assist older generations in passing on their culture to younger ones. Country and culture come alive the more I witness families share their stories, traditions and knowledge of country. English is my second language but at Waltja I feel that each language and person has its place and is welcome.

Where are you from?

I come from Austria, a small country in the middle of Europe. I grew up in a village surrounded by high mountains sometimes covered in snow and by lots of water, creeks and forests. My three sisters and their families live there.

What are your hobbies?

Spending time in nature was always a big part of my life. I like walking, taking pictures, cooking, writing and sometimes making music. I used to do wood and stone carving, so I am hoping to pick up those tools again soon! What is the most exciting thing you have done in your life? One of the most exciting things was to come and live in Central Australia for the first time in 2001. But the last 10km in the train before I see my family back home in Austria are most exciting…