ANANGU LEADERS NURTURE COMMUNITIES DURING COVID-19
With most services into the NPY Lands greatly restricted, Anangu staff have found themselves playing a pivotal role in nurturing their communities on the ground.
The Uti Kulintjaku project is a part of the Ngangkari program and grows capacity and mental health literacy in Anangu communities. The project works with key Anangu community members and western health professionals to strengthen understanding between both groups, Anangu members then work within their communities to drive change.
When COVID-19 presented an extra need and fewer services, these leaders stepped up and began their own community initiatives. This is what happened.
Stanley Windy, a long term Uti Kulintjaku Watiku member, led several profound initiatives. The Uti Kulintjaku Watiku program positions Anangu men’s voice within the dialogue and sharing of ideas to prevent family violence and to strengthen young people’s wellbeing. Stanley found activities that would engage young men and used this time to talk intimately with the men. Stanley took young men out to catch and break in wild horses seen around Amata and set up music practice sessions. Stanley was able to talk to these young men through personal and empowering conversations. These conversations between leading community figures such as Stanley and young men are pivotal in creating grass roots community change.
Weekly Mental Health Meetings
A group of senior women and key members of Uti Kulintjaku based in Mutijulu began meeting weekly out bush, with support from the Central Land Council COVID-19 funding. The group is using this quiet time to consider their mental health and wellbeing and ways they can build resilience in their community.
Singing & family bush trips everywhere!
During COVID-19, all Uti Kulintjaku members reported increased singing and family trips to country as key well-being activities that have worked to build unity and alleviate distress.