Working on Wama Wangka: Martu Leadership meeting at Roy Hill

A major area of focus was decided to address social issues, particularly alcohol. The group discussed the need for more learning workshops to be held in Martu communities and to be run by Martu. This is Martu teaching Martu.

These workshops will focus on areas like governance, how to run companies and the criminal justice system.

Looking back at Wama Wangka

In 2018, the Martu Leadership group decided that they wanted to form a Martu version of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), called Wama Wangka (WW).

The group workshopped how they wanted to run WW and decided it should be run on Martu country and to be based on Martu cultural knowledge and identity.

The first of the WW camps was held in March at Punta Wirri and involved five participants. The group discussed and planned activities by asking:

  • what is Wama Wangka

  • who will be involved; and

  • where will we go?

The second WW camp was held in April. Six participants camped at Wikiri and visited many important locations along the way. Following this trip, the group were buzzing: talking about where they’d gone; what they had done; and the discussions they’d had.

Their discussions included respect, culture, language, country, history and family trees – just to name a few. They discovered things about pujiman ways while they cleaned, checked and taught the young ones about culture, bush food and medicine.

These trips mark the beginning of united Martu action – action that will change the drinking story and address social challenges. The plan is to strengthen personal identity and connection to country, partner with senior Martu, and create new pathways for the next generations.