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
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
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.