On 1 July 2004 the Australian Government made important changes to the administration of Indigenous affairs. There is no longer a dedicated Australian Government agency administering Indigenous programs, but these are now with agencies that look after similar programs for all Australians. Most of these programs and services are funded through the network of Indigenous Coordination Centres (ICCs) in urban, regional and rural Australia.
The Government wants Indigenous communities at local and regional levels, to have a say in how funding is spent, and ensures that funding from all sources is coordinated and effective. Because of the extent and depth of Indigenous disadvantage, the Australian Government is committed to achieving real improvements for Indigenous people realizing this will take time and require sustained cooperative efforts by Indigenous people and governments at all levels.
One of the most important new initiatives is SRA - Shared Responsibility Agreements. SRAs start with ideas from the community, and spell out what all partners, communities, governments and others, will contribute to bringing about good long term changes. In many areas of Indigenous Australia it is considered offensive to publish photographs or names of Aboriginal people who have recently died. Browsers are warned that this website may inadvertently contain such names or pictures.
On 30 March 2005, the Yalata Community entered into a Shared Responsibility Agreement, through the Commonwealth of Australia, being the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination and the Department of Communications, Information, Technology and the Arts and the South Australian Government through the Department of Education and Children's Services and the South Australian Police. The SRA was negotiated between the community and relevant parties to provide a healthy school environment to improve education, attendance and retention outcomes, to run positive activities for young people to improve their life and leadership skills, leading to a safer community and also to develop positive relationships with the police. The community wished to implement a Scout program within the school and upgrade school facilities. A local police constable has taken the role of a leader, and the police, the school and the community are very committed to the continuation of this Scout Group. Mima Smart, a community elder and an Aboriginal Education worker was present at the launch of the scout group in December 2005. This initiative is the first to be implemented in South Australia.
TWT - Tjutjunaka Worka Tjuta (TWT) Inc was formed in July 1989 to enhance training and employment prospects to the local Aboriginal community in Ceduna. The Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) has been in operation throughout Australia since 1976. TWT has the capacity to employ 173 participants, each for 12 hours a week. The aim of TWT CDEP is to offer work places where participants can become confident and gain new skills that would lead to part or full time work.
TWT also tends to eight Homeland projects. These homelands are situated throughout the area, and are providing people with new work skills in land care, marketing and industry skills. Each Homeland's long-term aim is to be able to fund itself. These Homelands include Betts Corner, Bullinda, Dinahline, Koongawa Dundey, Muda Munda Watutjinna, Munda & Wanna Mar, Warevilla and Yarilena.
Work on the Ceduna/Koonibba water pipeline, jointly funded by the Federal, State and Local Government and ATSIC, started in 1997 and now completed, ensures that many residents west of Ceduna have a constant and reliable water supply.
The Arts & Cultural Centre services a number of exceptionally talented aboriginal artists from Ceduna and the Far West region of Eyre Peninsula. More Information ....
Weena Mooga Gu Gudba Inc, the Ceduna Women's Group, is successfully providing services to the women of Ceduna and provides space to socialise in a safe and supportive environment.
The group covers programs such as the health and well being programs, nutritional programs, homemakers programs, domestic violence outreach programs, outside school hours care programs, youth activities programs and the Aboriginal Visitors Scheme. Upcoming programs soon to start within the Centre are plants for people and remedial massage.
This site gives an overall look at Ceduna and West Coast Indigenous activities, happenings and achievements, visit http://www.wangkawilurrara.com/
After four years of training, six apprentices celebrated their completion at a ceremony held at TAFE SA Ceduna Campus on 19 December 2005. The indigenous apprentices have successfully completed the Certificate III in General Construction and are well on their way to becoming accredited carpenters thanks to a joint local initiative. The 'West Coast Building' initiative between the Aboriginal Housing Authority, Tjutjunka Worka Tjutja Inc. - CDEP, Career Employment Group and TAFE SA enabled carpentry training to be delivered in Ceduna, when it is generally only available in Adelaide. The key aspect to the success of the program was how the participants were able to understand the importance of the learning they were receiving, and became engaged in the project overall and saw it through to the end. The apprentices worked under a range of host employers throughout the four years, as well as attending TAFE. Local contractors were also involved in the training where possible. Through these strategies, the apprentices gained an excellent insight into the industry and developed relationships with potential employers.
While many of the traditional languages of the coast have been lost, traditional languages have been retained by many of the southern Pitjantjatjara people. Language recovery and maintenance funding have been provided for projects to record endangered languages.
Gladys and Wanda Miller have worked closely with linguists, Professor Muhlhausler and Paul Monaghan from the University of Adelaide, to produce "Wirangu Picture Dictionary" and a picture book called "Wardugu Wirn" featuring a traditional wombat hunt, recently launched at Ceduna.
These books will form the basis for a Wirangu language revival program in schools and the community. Earlier in the year a book of language was produced from notes of Pastor Hoff, who was resident in Koonibba in the 1920s.
Presently, funding is also being provided for a Kokatha language project in conjunction with the Koonibba Community.
Major contributors to this project over the years, includes SA Tourism, Aboriginal Lands Trust, Eyre Regional Development Board, Yalata Community Council, Flinders Area Consultative Committee and Aboriginal Housing Authority.
The District Council of Ceduna became the first in this region to sign a Joint Council Agreement in 2003, showing its principle directions towards reconciliation with the Aboriginal community.
In 1896 Lutheran Missionaries visited Koonibba to identify suitable land to establish a Lutheran Mission. A large number of Aboriginal people lived at Koonibba for many years prior to this. In 1901, Koonibba Lutheran Mission was established with the help of local Aboriginal people who lived there. Languages at Koonibba are Kokatha, Wiringu, Mirning and Pitjantjatjara. The nearby rock hole was an important water source for Aboriginal people of this area, and was used as a camping place and swimming hole by many. Koonibba Rockhole is a significant Aboriginal site. It is also a reminder for future generations about their ancestors and heritage.