Women & Families

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Martu want their children to grow up strong and healthy, and for their children to acquire and maintain knowledge in both mainstream and Martu worlds.

Using a coordinated and holistic approach, the Women & Families Program ensures that Martu families are in control of their children’s futures, and that they access services that are informed by Martu culture and knowledge.

Health and education service providers — including KJ’s culture, country, language and leadership programs and World Vision Australia — form part of the team who implement the program, which focuses on four key areas:

  • Early education

    The program delivers early childhood education using tools and materials framed for Martu society and context. This uses an evidence based mainstream approach modified for Martu parents and children. It provides parents and caregivers with the skills to enrich their children’s growth and learning experiences.

  • Health

    The program has a key focus on maternal and child health. By partnering with specialist health providers and addressing high priority health issues (such as skin disease, ear infections and nutrition) in a targeted way, the program looks to drive lasting change in child health.

  • Cultural knowledge, identity and language

    Culture is the foundation of Martu identity and society, so it is no surprise that Martu parents want their children to grow up Martu. They want to make sure their children can maintain their culture and ensure that knowledge is passed on to the future generations.

  • Leadership

    Martu live in two worlds: one governed by their ancient laws and customs and the other, mainstream. In order to successfully live in both these worlds, Martu need the knowledge and confidence to navigate the mainstream world and frequently changing laws so they can fulfil their aspirations for their families and communities in a modern context. 

    Parents and carers participate in activities designed by the Martu Leadership Program to build understanding of the mainstream world, increase their confidence in engaging with it, and meet their aspirations to drive positive change throughout the Martu community. 

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Women from the MLP and the magistrate together created a coloured card system, which clearly identified the term and effect of each type of order, so that people understood. 
— KJ Annual Report, 2018-19