WAVE Waltja Minmaku Palyantja Palya: Women Leaders’ Project 2008

WAVE Waltja Minmaku Palyantja Palya: Women Leaders’ Project 2008

In 2008, WAVE secured project funding from the Office for Women's 'Women's Leadership and Development Program Grants'. One of these is in the NT.

WAVE Waltja Minmaku Palyantja Palya: Women Leaders' Project 2008

The main focus of this project is in the recognition, acknowledgement and promotion of senior Aboriginal women who have been instrumental in the development of children's services and youth programs on their remote communities in Central Australia, These women have, in addition to their leadership work on their own communities, contributed to the development of Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation (Waltja), an Aboriginal women's organisation which provides services and support across the Central Australia region.

Given the current government and media focus upon issues of child and youth safety and well-being in remote Aboriginal communities it is timely to promote recognition of local senior women's leadership, to enable these women leaders to see their work and knowledge valued in a national context, and to build relationships between women working 'on the ground' and women in national organisations contributing to national policy.

The project is a collaboration between Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE) and Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi (Waltja). Waltja is a Central Australian women's non-government organisation governed by senior Aboriginal women. Waltja's constitutional objectives encompass advocacy for self-determination of communities and individuals, a whole-of-family approach, and support and training for community employment and community-managed services.

WAVE has undertaken past investigations into access and equity for Aboriginal women in voocational education and training (VET), and has collaborated with Waltja in a compilation of past and current research into training and education issues for Aboriginal women in Central Australia (Lawrence, K 2005).

Waltja works in the Central Australian region, an area which encompasses three states and many language groups. Waltja's organisational goals and operational strategies focus upon the centrality of women to community capacity, the need for training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people to enable them to work in and manage local services, and the value of partnership and communication between families, local services, and funding and regulatory bodies, within and between communities and across the region.

Documentation from the project will include guidelines and resources with application to the vocational education and training (VET) sector, particularly in relation to the provision of entry-level qualifications in community services. The guidelines developed with also provide valuable advice to other institutions and organisations on working effectively with Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal women participants will gain recognition for their skills and knowledge through vocational accreditation, and through the community engagement methodology of the project. They will also build relationships with WAVE members from around Australia.

The project plan includes: establishment of regular communication between Waltja Committee and WAVE Executive; collaboration between WAVE and Waltja to review the value/success/challenges of the Waltja model of community engagement and service provision; promotion of the project and the Minmaku workshop to community councils, Central Australian organisations and networks, and to national women's networks; preliminary community research/consultation by workshop nominees; Minmaku workshop planning, logistics and delivery; documentation of evidence and accreditation of nominees against relevant units from community services qualifications (CHC20201); documentation of workshop outcomes; development of personal profiles for each workshop participant and promotion through Waltja and WAVE websites and other media; development of multimedia resources and guidelines for organisations working with Aboriginal clients and communities in Central Australia and nationally.

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