For existing communal buildings that were built in the missionary period by community members there is cursory support from the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments for maintenance. This fund would enable families to build their own homes from their own materials and to build structures that enhance the community’s facilities and capacities.
Abstudy Abstudy is available for children to travel to secondary school in Nhulunbuy, Darwin and other Australian regional centres but it doesn’t apply in the critical infant years where literacy and numeracy teaching is needed. We want to give young children, with a family member, the ability to travel to develop their skills and to develop their English and numeracy skills so that they can make a successful transition to high school and beyond.
Gartirri School was founded by Gartirri Burarrwanga in the 1960s and was for many years a light house school for other communities seeking to educate their children at home. When the mission at Galiwinku closed the school was not supported and children were encouraged to travel to school in regional centres. This was one of the great mistakes of Aboriginal policy in our times.
There are many medicines and foods that have not been discovered by the pharmaceutical and medical industries that are known to Yolngu people. The nanka bakarra project will create the infrastructure at Mata Mata to harvest, store and distribute nanka bakarra – a remarkable wild harvest product. Foods and medicines such as nanka bakarra allow traditional life styles and hunting to generate a living money wage for people who live on homelands.
Mainstream society does not recognise the cultural work that every Yolngu man and woman is obligated to perform throughout the year. The Songman film project follows Terrence Gurruwiwi for three months and shows the extraordinary intensity of work involved in cultural duties and the innovative ways in which the communities support these activities. The goal of the film is to ensure that government and industry understand and support the Yolngu cultural economy and reward it.
Homelands are usually significant distances by road and air from regional cultures. Roads are extremely rough and for several months of the year can be impassable. We want to maintain vehicles and boats in good order for the day to day use of the community.
Batumbil Burarrwanga and her sisters are master weavers and painters. This project aims to buy works and place them in significant cultural collections where they can be shown to the wider community both nationally and internationally.
Mata Mata has a series of ancient sites of considerable archeological and Aboriginal cultural significance. We seek to protect these sites and to explore their full relevance to humanity past, present and future. Over the next decade a series of exploratory expeditions led by Aboriginal elders will take place.