We’ve become so busy that our previous site couldn’t cope with all the activity so we’re currently “under construction”. We’ll be back shortly with more content and a whole new eCommerce section to show the women of Wadeye’s incredible talents to the world.
Palngun Wurnangat (The story so far …..)
Life in remote communities can be challenging as we don’t have access to amenities that many take for granted. Until recently, our town with a population of 3,000 people had nowhere to buy a cup of tea or coffee and sit and chat with someone. But as the saying goes, “empower a woman, heal the world”, and the women of Wadeye have now solved this with our new T-House complex.
Palngun Wurnangat Aboriginal Corporation (PWAC) is an independently owned Indigenous women’s organisation based in Wadeye, NorthernTerritory. Palngun Wurnangat means ‘women all together‘, or ‘all the women here‘ in Murrinhpatha – the main shared language of the Thamarrurr region.
PWAC manages a range of community-based initiatives designed to preserve and promote Indigenous culture and tradition, whilst fostering self-sustaining enterprises run by and for Indigenous people.
The women of Wadeye have always played an active role in the town’s economic, social and cultural development. In the early days they worked in the market garden and the Port Keats Mission sewing centre. The women baked bread and cakes to sell outside the store. They formalised the Women’s Association in 1990 and their bread and cake-making enterprise grew into a takeaway store and small bakery adjacent to the sewing centre.
In 2002, PWAC’s new Mi Patha (‘good food’) takeaway and commercial bakery was opened. Profits generated through these businesses enable us to provide wide-ranging support to the families of the the Thamarrurr Region. Profits also assist the running of the Women’s Centre which has evolved from a sewing centre to an art space, specialising in fabric printing.
Until June 2016 many of PWAC’s support services were provided to the community from the ‘everything centre’ that the art space had become – mothers and babies support, cooking, cultural printing and clothing manufacture, printing of funeral clothing and cloth for families, internet banking, laundromat, public phone, informal meetings, consultations and counselling for whatever’s going on in Wadeye….and a much sought after public toilet. (We don’t have one of those in Wadeye either!)
In 2012 approval for funding was given to build a new T-House, opened in June, 2016. The T-House complex is now a vibrant community hub containing a café, small gallery, PWAC office space, laundry facilities, a retail outlet and meeting spaces.
In 2014 The “strong women working together’ started one of the PWAC’s most exciting success stories, harvesting, grading, freezing and selling Mi Marrarl or Kakadu Plum. This venture has provided over 150 seasonal picking jobs each year to people who were previously unemployed. PWAC has recently purchased new equipment and implemented policies and procedures in order to ensure the long-term stability of their Kakadu Plum business.
Watch ABC’s Landline report on PWAC’s Kakadu Plum story.
In 2016 with the T House now open PWAC extended the ‘Mi Patha’ takeaway & bakery to include a butchery which also has fresh seafood available weekly.
The Women’s Centre is undergoing a facelift to become a dedicated art space for the first time. So now we look at upgrading this site so that the Wadeye women artists’ talents in the design, production and sale of beautiful printed fabrics which create an economic development opportunities within the Thamarrurr Region can be viewed and purchased worldwide.
Hope to see you back here soon.