“I really want to look after my child. I do not want to send her away. I clean her clothes and her blankets … I look after her despite everything … difficulties. I like it that you are asking. I just have to do it myself as no-one helps…”

Senior woman, Amata Community, South Australia

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In 1993, the Commonwealth Department of Human Services approached NPYWC about running a disability service, and the Disability Support Project began in September with two project officers. (Later became the Disability Advocacy Project)


The Commonwealth funded a cross border Carer Respite Service, aimed at providing relief to relatives looking after the aged and those with disabilities, with funds for mobility aids and modifying community facilities such as clinics and women’s centre showers.


NPYWC published They Might Have to Drag Me like a Bullock. “Old people like to live on their own country- their own land. They want to live out their lives on their land. Old people who live on their land have their laws and their culture.We want to see old people be able to pass away their lives and die on their own country and with their own relations around them. Not in a nursing home which is always far away. They want to pass away on their own land. At home.” MW, 1994; transcribed and tanslated by Linda Rive.

Consequently the Commonwealth funded the tri-State Aged Advocacy Project and a pilot Commonwealth Disability Employment and Participation Project (DEPP).The South Australian Government agreed to provide NPYWC with HACC funding for the care and support of older people in SA (the AP lands).

“We have to keep on thinking about these old people. Without them we’d be nothing, would know nothing and would wander all over the country not knowing where to go or what to eat or anything about the Tjukurpa. They taught s to know who we are!” Mantatjara Wilson, 1994; transcribed and tanslated by Linda Rive


The SA Aged Support Project convened the first Tjilpi Pampa Festival

Funding obtained from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing to establish NPYWC as an Emotional and Social Well-being regional centre.

The Carer Respite Service was fully funded to provide not just goods and equipment but also respite for carers“Now we have lot of problems but Women’s Council are helping. Families have been looking after their own for a long time, but when your backs are really tired, you need help.” NW, Senior Woman, AP Lands, 2004


The Tri-State Disability Service, funded by the State Health Departments of NT, SA and WA commenced operations.

“Good help has been getting things to help, to make it easier to care for S. …Good help has been when we went to Perth for all of those doctor’s appointments and we were told where to go and how to get there. … Good help is when we get the fence around the house to keep the cars from driving too close to the house. This is slow work and we have been waiting a long time. … The thing that makes S really happy is when he is with his small cousins and he’s laughing and they’re laughing.” DJ and PJ in Western Australia, 2004


The Ninti Project was initially funded by the Commonwealth Department of Employment Education and Training in 2005. Ongoing lobbying resulted in additional funding from a number of other bodiesNPYWC joined with the General Property Trust (GPT) of Yulara and the Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service CAYLUS to form the Opal Alliance which commissioned an independent cost-benefit analysis of Opal non-sniffable fuel and led to the introduction of Opal fuel in Central Australia.

“These petrol sniffers are our own flesh and blood, yet we have lost them all to petrol… Of course we know that some petrol sniffers cannot be helped. They will live their lives in wheelchairs with acquired brain injuries. But for the new recruits…well we are hoping that with Opal there will be no new recruits to petrol sniffing.” Janet Inyika at the Opal Fuel Launch, 2005