Henly Taka – CEO

It has been a transformative year for our organisation as we continued to work with young people in remote communities in the NT to advance our mission of improved school attendance, student engagement and job readiness.

We have remained committed to helping the young people and communities that we work with. Several initiatives were undertaken to enhance the education and job readiness for the young people in communities that Wanta has a presence in. One notable achievement is the Wanta Bagai Barista run by kids from Ngukurr school.  It is now a fledgling café in the remote community of Ngukurr.

Providing fun, engaging and educational activities for kids in remote communities remains at the core of our mission. This year, we have organized numerous sporting events, educational workshops, and reward trips to encourage educational growth and resilience.

Looking ahead, Wanta Aboriginal Corporation is poised for continued growth in the youth space while providing positive impacts on the lives of the young people in the remote communities that we work in. We are planning on introducing more social enterprise projects for school kids, especially in remote communities in Central Australia, while reinforcing our commitment to the well-being and prosperity of the young people in the remote communities in the NT that Wanta has a presence in.

In closing, I extend my gratitude to the dedicated staff of Wanta, our board directors, our funding partners, our partner schools, and the young people and families in the remote communities that we work in.

Thank you all for your continued support.



At the start of 2023 the Wanta Academy program in Kalkarindji received a timely two-year extension of our contract by NIAA. The contract allowed Wanta to co-design a senior school engagement program that meets the needs of kids and young people from Kalkarindji and Daguragu.

There was massive flash flooding 3 weeks into the start of term 1,2023 and the whole community of Kalkarindji was in placed in an emergency.  The Northern Territory government with support from the Federal government evacuated the entire Kalkarindji community and relocate them Howard springs in Darwin.

The Kalkarindji community was accommodated at Howard Springs, in Darwin for 3 months and Wanta staff continued support the community by delivering the programs in Darwin. Wanta staff ensured that senior students were attending school in Darwin and after school Wanta staff collaborated with other service providers provide activities such as AFL, Basketball, movie nights etc for students at the centre of national resilience facility.

During a trip organised by Wanta, 10 students from both Kalkaringi and Ngukurr completed the Jatbula trial which was no mean feat. This trip was awarded to our best high school attenders and 6-day hike was full of challenges along the way, such as the heat, the weight of the back packs, and the average distance of 10km covered each day. The challenges of doing this hike brought the students and staff together and instilled resilience and the values of teamwork.

Neil Mackenzie – Director, Wanta Social Enterprise and Southern Region.

Enhancing and embedding an already rich cultural history and assisting with programs that develop skills, employment opportunities and a genuine sense of self-empowerment are just some of the attributes that social enterprise looks to bring to community.

The development of an Art Centre (Inkwareny Artists) in Yuelamu has focused heavily on the passing on of cultural knowledge and stories, and while this enterprise is only in its infancy, community enthusiasm and drive has seen the number of artists grow and hence those stories being reflected in the artworks now being produced.

Designs for the new Art Centre are currently being developed, with the artists contributing directly to how their centre will look and function. Such involvement, beyond the art itself, has produced a beautiful sense of excitement around this marvellous opportunity, and that will continue into the future.

The Xtra Mile Transport Service, operating out of Yuendumu, has not only employed and trained local bus drivers, it has contributed to a level beyond its primary function of transporting community members who already have limited options in that space. Funerals, sorry business, sporting events, clinics and the like, are all extremely important events in community life, and Xtra Mile Transport has continued to offer another option to ensure the residents of Yuendumu can get to these destinations when needed and safely.

While 2023 has been an enormous year for social enterprise, 2024 will provide an opportunity to consolidate these and other projects to ensure they have sustainability and ongoing community benefit moving forward.


Ellie Simmons – Director, Stronger Communities for Children 

It’s been another great year in Ntaria with everyone enjoying the variety of activities on offer.
Unfortunately back in June, we waved goodbye to the legend that is Tash Bennett, our RSAS manager, when RSAS program funding ended. Her dedication and commitment to Wanta (with Wanta for five years across Arlparra and Ntaria!), the RSAS program, her staff, and the Ntaria community, were unwavering and we are all grateful for her hard yards and can-do attitude. Thankfully all our local employees have all continued working with Wanta and Ntaria School to keep providing great activities and opportunities for Ntaria. Thank you Evelyn, Valerie, Kath, Baydon, and Michelle!
Cooking workshops, sleepovers, Lukura women’s fitness nights, and women’s health sessions with Blakdolls Sports and Fitness Mob have been loved as part of the Young Women’s Program with great engagement across the board. The highlight of the program this year has been the ceramic workshops the girls attend twice a term over at Hermannsburg Potters. These sessions are run by the female Potters in Western Arrernte, and are proving to be fantastic opportunities for sharing cultural knowledge, and building relationships, skills, and confidence amongst the women and girls. Long may this partnership between Wanta and the Pottery continue!
The Kids and Youth Club has continued to be well received by students and teachers alike with drumbeat, nutrition, and respectful relationship workshops being delivered at school for year 4-9 each week – the boys have even started their own workshops with the male Potters as part of this program which they have all loved so far and we hope to continue into 2024. Taren Williams (SCfC Coordinator) has also been opening a Boys Space after school as part of the Kids and Youth Club where the boys have particularly enjoyed using the donated bikes to ride around community, playing on the playstation and computers, and doing arts and crafts. They are thrilled to now have their own activities after being envious of the Young Women’s Room activities for the girls.
A really exciting and quite different project we have been working on is developing animations about mental health and suicide prevention with a Melbourne-based animation company, Viskatoons. This has been a challenging but exciting learning process for all involved as we have worked with local Western Arrernte community members to develop the characters and story line, translate scripts into language, record the voices and everything in between. We can’t wait to see the final products!
A final special thank you to Jenna Kilgallon, who held the fort while I was away on leave for Term 3, keeping the activities running, building brilliant relationships with the kids and stakeholders alike, and becoming a valued part of the Wanta team! Bring on 2024!
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Indigo Drendel – Director, Ngukurr Academy
The Ngukurr Academy has once again had a fantastic year that we have just celebrated with a big party! With so many awesome trips, afternoons spent in the academy room, and so many delicious coffees and hot chocolates served, some highlights for our students have been the senior Katherine Trip, 6-day hike along the Jatbula Trail with other WANTA students from Kalkarindji, visiting Darwin for the Indigenous Tennis Carnival and partaking in the Katherine Pink AFL Gala. Our students have also shown that they have learnt plenty from their class sessions in the room and had great fun at the end of year High School party that rewarded them for their hard work. The students have been so proud of being able to open up their Bagai Barista cafe, serving both hot and iced drinks to their family, friends and those visiting Ngukurr.
Zac Murfet – Director, Arlparra Academy.

Wanta has had a great year in Arlparra, with plenty of sport, trips to waterholes, time in the Academy Room and plenty of driving between homelands!

One of the highlights for Wanta Arlparra this year was a joint trip with the school to Darwin for the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival. 8 students came on the 5 day trip, which had a lot of new and exciting experiences for the students. Aside from all the tennis, for most of the students it was their first time flying, and also their first time seeing the ocean in person! This was really special for the kids, and also for the staff to witness these moments. The event was very well run with plenty of different opportunities for the kids that included lots of tennis, a live music performance from Indigenous rapper Barkaa and the chance to meet and chat with Evonne Goolagong Cawley!


Blake Romaker – Director, Lajamanu Brighter Futures Program

2023 has been an exciting year for Wanta in Lajamanu. To kick off the year, Wanta launched the Brighter Futures Program to empower Lajamanu young people through alternative education programs. Continuing team member Liam Patrick welcomed Mervyn Rose on board, as they said their goodbyes to Simon Blake and welcomed Blake Romaker as Program Director.
The Wanta team facilitated and supported countless activities over the course of the year. Students enjoyed bike rides during morning sport, nutrition & cooking lessons in the afternoon, and bush trips on country during the weekends. Students have worked toward achieving their learners’ license, obtaining and organising personal documents so they are work-ready, and developing money-management skills. Students completed the Jatbula Trail during the winter, which demonstrated students’ preparedness, physical & mental resilience, and their teamwork. Also, the Kalkarindji Wanta team collaborated with Lajamanu to host a basketball game between communities. Lajamanu School continued to serve as a strong and integral partner with Wanta, allowing the Wanta team in classrooms to facilitate alternative education sessions on alcohol & other drugs, health & hygiene, job-readiness, and more.
In addition to working with students, the Wanta team has engaged in professional development to build our own capacity too. Team members became certified Love Bites Senior Facilitators to qualify them to teach Respectful Relationships workshops with students. Also, Provide First Aid + CPR was obtained by the entire team. In August, the Lajamanu team joined the rest of Wanta in Darwin for a week of collaborating, cross-cultural training, and team-building together. Wanta Lajamanu is coming into 2024 strong and cohesive as a team, ready to continue building the strong positive impact they have in Lajamanu!


Claire Lechleitner – Director, Yuendumu Youth Program

2023 was another successful year for the wanta crew in Yuendumu. Yuendumu Wanta has gone from strength to strength, and this could not be done without the amazing Wanta Team, whose hard work does not go unnoticed. Thank you for always showing up and being a trusted team on the ground who are achieving outstanding outcomes.

During the June/July School holiday, Yuendumu Wanta had a rewards trip to (Sydney). 10 senior students who had good attendance and good behaviour. We did exciting activities while being in Sydney. Towards the end of this year, wanta and CDP collaborated to provide Yuendumu community careers expo.


Taren Williams – Director, Stronger Communities for Children

While 2023 seemed like a roller-coaster year for the Stronger Communities for Children (SCfC) project in Ntaria with many challenges that had to be addressed, the Ntaria team stuck together and continued to work to achieve great outcomes for the kids and youth of this fantastic community. In fact, all the SCfC funded projects were successful with community, through the Leaders Group, being very happy with their respective outcomes.
The projects that SCFC funded included:
• The Swim and Water Safety classes that taught local children and youth to swim thereby offering both a safety and a health aspect to Ntaria community.
• The Family as First Teachers (FaFT) Playgroup Leaders project which employed 2 local ladies to support the FAFT project in the school.
• The Kids Club Project as well as the Young Women’s Room, both of which provided direct activities and support to the school in and out of school hours.
• The Blakdoll Role Models Mentoring and Fitness project saw 5 staff members from Alice Springs come out to Ntaria to provide mentoring and healthy living activities with the school.
I would like to say a big thank you to all the staff members that worked within these projects, to the Facilitating Partners who provided the necessary co-ordination, and to the dedicated, community-based members of the SCfC Leaders Group for their hard work. All of these contributors played an important role ensuring community received maximum benefit from the program.