Strengthening Connections

Elders and young women from Nyirripi, Yuendumu, and Papunya gathered at Newhaven Sanctuary to share knowledge, skills and stories.

The program aimed to strengthen the women’s understanding of environmental conservation and land management and gave them an opportunity to reflect on their relationship with Country.

The women displayed a keen interest in participating in on Country cultural activities and embraced the opportunity to learn and connect with their Elders. Throughout the program, the group learned through a combination of traditional teaching practices as well as Western scientific ways, allowing the group to start to think about how they can actively contribute to maintaining the integrity of the flora and fauna around them. AWC ecologists Tim, Lara, and Ben shared the importance of conservation and land management and provided an over view of the crucial work the Yapa Rangers do to ensure the environment thrives at Newhaven Sanctuary.

Strong Young Women's team at Newhaven Sanctuary

The Elders also taught the group about the medicinal uses of certain plants, that can be used for a variety of purposes such as for baby smoking or in supporting the body against sickness and promoting healing. The master tracker, Kuyu Pungu, also taught them the vital skill of yitaku maninjaku (tracking). The group were eager to put their new skills into practice, so despite the cold temperatures, many of the women went spotlighting once the sun had gone down.

Elders shared knowledge on yitaki maninjaku (tracking)
Newhaven, Central Australia

The program allowed the women the opportunity to connect and learn cultural practices from their Elders as well as ensured they left the program with a deeper appreciation and understanding of their roles and responsibilities to Country.

Overall, the program was a success in strengthening intergenerational ties and promoting environmental conservation among the young women, Elders, and the broader Walpiri community.

Play a role in preservation

With your support we can continue to provide young people with opportunities to learn from their Elders on-Country — the best place to learn about your own culture.



Acknowledgement of Contributors

·      Australia Wildlife Conservancy

·      Central Land Council

·      AWC Rangers and Elders

·      Mac Youth