Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council (Aboriginal Corporation) is an organisation driven by women’s law and authority, guided by culture, the collective agency of women, and driven for all Anangu to have a good life.

Our region has a long and proud history of Anangu (Aboriginal) activism and action. Some of the first Anangu organisations in Australia were formed in our region, many with the aim of providing a stronger voice for community members.  NPY Women’s Council has built on this legacy providing a response to the limited voice and representation of Anangu women.  From the very beginning, we have been speaking with, for, and through the voices of women. It defines our world-view; it is what sets us apart.

It is within this core principle that we have grown and evolved, providing important and valued services that support Anangu across the NPY region. We are now one of the most recognised and influential Anangu-led organisations in the region and beyond. We take on innovative reform solutions to solve systemic problems. We are advocates, capacity builders, service providers, and highly regarded. We find a way forward in our complex environment, and strive to provide a better life for all Anangu in our region, especially women and children.

NPY Women’s Council is governed and directed by Aboriginal women across 26 desert communities in the cross-border regions of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory – an area covering 350,000 sq km. Our administrative offices are in Alice Springs, with regional offices located in Mimili, Umuwa, Ernabella, Amata and Pipalyatjara in South Australia, Wingellina, Warakurna and Kiwirrkurra in Western Australia, and Finke, Imanpa, Mutitjulu, and Docker River in the Northern Territory.

This painting tells the story of how the NPY Women’s Council was started in 1980. I made a cassette tape and sent it around to all the communities for women to listen to. The black line going around the painting with the white marks is the cassette travelling around to all the women in communities.

All the women listened to that cassette about the idea of starting up a Women’s Council. They sat down and talked together.

Then we all came together at Kanpi to have our first meeting together.

That is the big circle in the middle with all us women sitting around.

This was the first time we came together, all us Pitjantjatjara, Ngaanyatjarra, Yankunytjatjara women.

Mantatjara Wilson (dec)