Empowered Communities


In 2013, Aboriginal leaders from across Australia came together with a common vision of transforming Indigenous affairs from the ground up. Over the next 2 years a proposal was developed to empower Aboriginal communities and put decision-making back in Aboriginal hands and in 2015 the Empowered Communities National Design Report was  accepted by the Australian Government.

With bi-partisan support from successive Governments there are now nine Empowered Communities regions across Australia, including the NPY Lands.

Empowered Communities in the NPY region covers the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Lands covering more than 350,000 km2 across the South Australia, West Australian and Northern Territory tri-state border region of central Australia.

In 1976 Anangu formed the Pitjantjatjara Council to represent their interests in the struggle for land rights. Empowered Communities is building on this strong history of unity across the vast tri-state region by ensuring that Anangu have a strong, unified voice to build capacity and drive development in the NPY Lands.


Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Empowered Communities is a growing alliance of Aboriginal partner organisations who, with the guidance and advice of their Anangu Directors, provide oversight of a small secretariat, currently auspiced by NPY Women’s Council.

Empowered Communities is aiming to ensure that Anangu are in the driver’s seat for decisions made by all Governments and service providers working in the region.

The three pillars of Empowered Communities are:


This means…

Anangu making the decisions, Anangu setting the priorities, Anangu seeking solutions & Anangu leading the design & delivery of programs that address Anangu needs & aspirations

Empowered Communities leaders across Australia agree that there are 5 priority areas for improving life for Aboriginal people…

  • Good education
  • Safe communities
  • Work or meaningful engagement
  • Proper housing
  • Care for children, elderly and the disabled.

At the heart of these priorities is a strong commitment in the NPY region to maintaining Anangu culture and traditional values, through…

  • Tjukurpa (Law)
  • Walytja (Family)
  • Manta (Country) and
  • Wangka Uti (Language)

Coming up

Our work to date confirms that Anangu share many common concerns. The priority areas for immediate action in the NPY Region are:

  1. Education, culture and youth support – School to Work Transition
  2. Work, meaningful engagement and financial security – Intensive Support for New Workers
  3. Anangu led decision making and community empowerment – Emerging Leaders Program, Kulintja Kutju Funding and Procurement Review Group

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One voice, one plan; Empowered Communities (English)

One voice, one plan; Empowered Communities (English)