Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi

'Doing Good Work with Families'

Waltja Trip to Papunya

We packed camping gear and headed out west. We started to speak with people to find out where the young men were. We asked the young indigenous police officer if he would like to come and he organized with his superiors to camp with us. MacYouth helped with collecting people and we eventually got a group of young men together. Linda arrived and we got food from her and we drove to a spot about 15km from Papunya. The Tjilirra car went first, and when entering the creek a big snake was spotted. The snake went underneath the Tjilirra car so a team effort dealt with it. We set up camp and got the young men to collect firewood and they cooked dinner on the fire. Some of the men lit fires around the creek to stop snakes.

We got up and organized breakfast. All of a sudden heaps of bees in the area swarmed us and they took over our camp! After breakfast we loaded up the cars and went to an area with lots of mulga trees. The young men were active cutting wood for carvings and starting to shape them for boomerangs and spears. The young fellas got some firewood and we cooked dinner. After dinner we got the group together and asked about the things they struggle with in their community.

The young men voiced concerns about airG! and that it causes fights and bullying. The men said that they sometimes use the airG the wrong way too. They worry about fighting and they want to learn more about culture, language and law. The men want more bush trips and camps and to learn the bush foods properly, and how to track and hunt. We spoke a bit more and then went to bed. Walter wanted to go for a night hunt and he took some young men with him. They came back with a feral cat and cooked it. Walter was an amazing help and he lead the conversations and helped the young men with the tool making.

Story by Jamie