The Spinifex People build a brighter future

The story of the Tjuntjuntjara people is one of resilience and determination. The community is part of a larger group known as the ‘Spinifex People’.

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The Spinifex People were removed from their homelands before the British atomic testing at Maralinga, WA in the 1950s and 1960s. Then in the late 1980s, senior members led the community back to their tribal lands. The decision to move back onto traditional lands was important to protect the community’s traditional way of life and their future.

Tjuntjuntjara, located 550km east of Kalgoorlie, is one of the most remote communities in Australia. It has a regular population of around 150 people and the community is governed by a local council.

Living in such a remote area can sometimes be very challenging. But the Spinfex People have a strong sense of tradition and a valued community.

ICV has had a long relationship with Tjuntjuntjara, working on a number of projects. We were recently invited to help the community refurbish their community hall and establish a sport and recreation area for the kids.

The old community hall was run down and unsafe. The tin roof was hanging down and posed a serious risk. There was no dedicated sports area for the kids to play and let off steam

ICV volunteer, Colin worked with community leaders to help draw up plans to revamp the community hall and to secure much needed funding.

Colin formed a great relationship with many people in the community.  Community Manager, Fiona, said that the flexibility and ease of working with Colin and ICV ensured that the project was completed on time.

With the funds that Colin helped to obtain, the community hall was refurbished and a dedicated play area was built for the kids.

The recent official opening of the community hall was an exciting day for the people of Tjuntjuntjara. It included an art exhibition and the first chance for the kids to play in their new recreation area.

The refurbished hall provides a place where local people can gather safely for events such as community meetings, art exhibitions and even discos.  It also provides a dignified place to conduct funerals.

ICV is continuing to work closely with the Tjuntjuntjara community on their next project to improve water supply and housing.

“I was very impressed with Colin's support and commitment to the project. He went above and beyond the call of duty and supported the community’s vision 100%.  He brought a great set of skills to the project and helped us to achieve a community driven dream of expanding our sport and recreation facilities.  Without ICV’s support, we would not have been able to complete this project.  A massive thank you.”

Fiona Pemberton, General Manager