Wanyja Mankarr

In one of the most remote parts of Australia live some rare and threatened animals. One such animal is the bilby. Once common across Australian deserts, the bilby is now endangered. Its last stronghold in the wild is on Martu country. Martu rangers are working with Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa to look after country and the bilby’s habitat by using a combination of Martu and whitefella ways.

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Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa

KJ has strong partnerships with a number of organisations. These long-term partnerships are based on a shared vision, respect, mutual trust and a desire to assist Martu in looking after country and culture. The knowledge and skills contributed by each partner have served to foster outcomes that would be difficult to achieve for either partner alone. See and hear from Martu about some of the highlights of KJ’s activities for the past year.

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Wama Wangka — talking about alcohol

Most Martu and their communities have been directly affected by the consumption of alcohol. There are few resources, however, that are designed to address the unique cultural, social and linguistic challenges faced by Martu in WA’s remote Western Desert. Wama Wangka (Martu’s version of Alchoholics Anonymous) is providing an opportunity for people to talk about their experience of alcohol abuse and make plans to combat these issues themselves.

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Kakarra not Yapurra

“We don’t want to send anyone to yapurra (west, to prison) and want everyone to be kakarra (east, to Martu homelands) where they can live in paradise with their ancestors.” — MLP mentor, Butler Landy

In 2017, participants from the Martu Leadership Program were involved in a three-day camp to talk about the criminal justice system. Over 100 people were present, including key law agencies, departments and organisations. Everyone was keen to explore new methods within the criminal justice system that would give better outcomes for Martu and the broader community.

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Celebrating our partnerships

KJ has strong partnering relationships with a number of organisations. These long-term partnerships are based on a shared vision, respect, mutual trust and a desire to assist Martu in looking after country and culture. The knowledge and skills contributed by each partner have served to foster outcomes that would be difficult to achieve for either partner alone.

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Walk to Gather

The passing of elders is one heartfelt concern for many younger Aboriginal people as elders retain the ancient foods, practices and knowledge of Australia. To counteract this threat, four generations of women gather together to teach about bush food and medicine plants of their desert country. These grandmothers are keeping alive the skills of food preparation And no one in the world has such expertise of Australian bush tucker.

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Songs of the Dance

“This belongs to the ancestors, this dance. This is their law that belongs to all the Martu people. The songs that belonged to the place from the Dreamtime. Our grandfathers taught us how to dance in the past. They taught us and sang the songs when we were children. We need to show the children and give it to them. These children must be taught how to dance. This is very important for them. Forever it's their law.”

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Warru (Black-flanked rock wallaby) Project

In a remote part of Western Australia lives an endangered species of rock wallaby. Although known to the local Martu people, this population of endangered species was one of the last known populations in the Western Desert. Constantly hunted by feral predators, particularly wild cats and foxes, the rock wallabies were in danger of disappearing all together. This documentary shows rangers at work establishing a new colony of rock wallabies to help secure their survival for the future.

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Martu Leadership Program

The Martu Leadership Program (MLP) started in 2014 with men, then late 2016 with women. This short movie captures what the program means to participants. Annabell Landy says that by learning and focussing, she can be a role model for people in her community; while Clifton Girbirba explains the importance to teach white law to people, because it’s “two laws colliding”. Explore the evolution of the MLP through the stories of the Martu who have been involved.

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