Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council
The Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council (NPY Women's Council, or NPYWC) is a community-based organisation that serves women of the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara communities in remote central Australia. It was formed in 1980, with its headquarters in Alice Springs. It provides a range of community, family, research and advocacy services, and represents the interests of women and their communities.
History[change | change source]
The idea for a women's organisation came during the late 1970s, when the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara communities of northwestern South Australia were struggling for the rights to their land. During meetings about land rights, the women felt that their needs were not being met, so they decided to establish their own organisation. A women's meeting was held at Amaṯa in 1980. It was chaired by Pitjantjatjara elder Nganyinytja, who had been a leader among women throughout the land-rights struggle. The formation of the NPY Women's Council is said to have been partly inspired by a speech Nganyinytja made at demonstration in Adelaide later in the year.
The first meeting of the Women's Council was held in December 1980, in Kaṉpi. It was organised by Mantatjara Wilson and Diana James, and attended by about 40 women. Tjunmutja Myra Watson was chosen to be the organisation's first chairperson, and Diana James was chosen as the secretary.
Region[change | change source]
The NPY Women Council's covers about 350,000 square kilometres of the remote area where the borders of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory meet. The region has a total population of about 6000. The council serves women belonging to the three indigenous groups in this region: the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, who are closely related to one another. The area covered includes:
- Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia
- Ngaanyatjarra Lands (including the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku and Kiwirrkura) in Western Australia
- Imaṉpa, Muṯitjulu, Kaḻṯukatjara, Aputula and most of the Petermann Lands in the Northern Territory.
Recognition[change | change source]
The NPY Women's Council has achieved recognition for its work. Awards include:
- Indigenous Governance Award (2012);
- Deadly Awards were awarded to the Tjanpi Desert Weavers in 2012, and to the NPYWC Child Nutrition Program in 2011;
- International Sigmund Freud Prize (2011), awarded to the ngangkaṟi (traditional healer) program;
- National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award (2005), awarded to the Tjanpi Desert Weavers.
References[change | change source]
- "NPY Women's Council". Waru. PY Media. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Diana James (17 April 2007). "Living bridge between cultures: Nganyinytja, 1928-2007". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney: Fairfax Media.
- "NPY Women's Council: Who we are and how we started" (PDF). Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council (Aboriginal Corporation). 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "NPY Women's Council region" (PDF). NPY Women's Council. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "2012 Indigenous Governance Awards Announced". ProBono News. 16 October 2012.
- Jennifer Westacott (15 October 2012). "Praise for indigenous core values". Australian Financial Review.
- "Health workers honoured at Deadly Awards" (PDF). VIBE. 27 September 2011.