FUNDING FOR THE FUTURE
We are delighted to announce that the McKinnon Family Foundation has made a significant grant to Malpa committing to support our work for at least three years.
We thank the Foundation for their confidence in our work which helps us attain the sustainability that enables us to build confidence in communities.
The director, John McKinnon, has extensive experience in social justice and best practice in delivering appropriate community development when he was Australian Program Coordinator for TEAR Australia. His passion for bottom up development is reflected in this generous investment.
We also thank everyone at The Funding Network and those who were part of their event at Macquarie Bank which raised $ 20,000 for our work in Utopia.
DHALAYI DOCTORS AND UMBARKALYA DOCTORS
Young Doctors is a program in which respected community members empowers kids to become health ambassadors. It connects the traditional wisdom, knowledge and experience of Elders and delivers health promotion modules in fun, creative activities. Primary school aged children learn about both Western and traditional approaches to health and medicine. The program is completely delivered by community members with input and support from the Elders and from Malpa.
Aboriginal communities around Australia are unique and extremely different from each other and the experiences of those community members varies widely. Malpa honours the individuality of each community by working closely with the community to tailor Young Doctors into ways which are appropriate and community-driven.
Dhalayi Doctors is based in Kempsey, dhalayi being the local Dunghutti word for young child. Dhalayi Doctors will be run in close connection with local primary schools who already have some fantastic health promotion programs in place. The project is led by Sammi Fatnowna who is partnering with community stakeholders to tailor Dhalayi Doctors to the needs of the local communities. We were privileged to meet with the Dunghutti Elders Council, led by Bob Mumbler, and are appreciative of their support.
Umbarkalya Doctors is a Young Doctors program based in the Utopia Homelands, 250km NE out of Alice Springs. We are excited to have Rosabella Long as project manager with Roselyn Turner. Rosabella will be conducting sessions with the kids which involve a mix of Western medicine, bush tucker and bush medicine and involving a range of other community members in this process. The support of Urapuntja Aboriginal Corporation and the Urapuntja Health Service is deeply appreciated.
UPDATE: SEWAGE CRISIS IN ABORIGINAL COMMUNITY
The Malpa Project
The life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is 19 years. Chronic health problems plague Indigenous communities. The MALPA Project collaborates with Indigenous community members to provide health promotion programs and services to address the significant unmet needs of many Indigenous communities, particularly rural and remote ones. Our Young Doctors project established primary school children as health ambassadors who learn about both Western and traditional approaches to health and wellbeing and engage with the community as a whole to apply this knowledge in their every day lives.
MALPA is a word widely used across the traditional groups of Central Australia [Pintupi, Arrente, Warlpiri, Pitjantjatjara, Yankuntatjara, Luritja, Anmatyerr, etc]. It means friend or companion. The MALPA project also creates opportunities to develop authentic relationships and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Underlying every aspect of MALPA is the desire to develop opportunities for patients, their carers and other Aboriginal people to be deeply involved in the design and provision of services and to take responsibility not only for their own health needs but those of their communities.
When Rex talks about how important it is to do things “two ways” he knows what he’s talking about.
“The key to solving the problems that make life hard for my people is understanding white and black ways and working jankujurra [together]” he says.
Rex is a Senior Walpiri Man from the Western Desert and a custodian for Mina Mina Dreaming. But he’s also an ordained pastor. He speaks Walpiri and English and has extensive experience interpreting and translating. His work as a mentor is in high demand as he seeks to resolve social conflicts which beset many communities.
He’s an award winning artist and recently received an ANU scholarship to engage in post graduate studies. This builds on his Bachelor of Education from Deakin University.
Rex ‘s remarkable breadth of experience includes being a representative for ATSIC, several years as Chairman for the Central Lands Council, as a Teaching Chairperson for the World Council of Indigenous People and much more. He brings considerable wisdom and invaluable insights as the Tjitji Doctors program is developed and delivered.
His work has led him to lecturing at Macquarie University in art, culture and community governance.