Yuwaya Ngarra-li Partnership between the Dharriwaa Elders Group, Walgett, and UNSW Sydney

Yuwaya Ngarra-li Partnership between the Dharriwaa Elders Group, Walgett, and UNSW Sydney

Yuwaya Ngarra-li is a long-term multidisciplinary community-led partnership between UNSW Sydney and the Dharriwaa Elders Group (DEG) in Walgett that has contributed to more than 460 outcomes at individual, community and systemic levels over the past four years.

In 2016, the DEG invited UNSW to work with them longer-term around their vision for positive social change in their community in remote north-west NSW, following collaboration on a research study from 2011–2015.

The purpose of Yuwaya Ngarra-li is for the DEG and UNSW to work together to improve the wellbeing, environment and life pathways of Aboriginal people in Walgett, while refining and evaluating this as a new model of university-community collaboration led by an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation. The Partnership has been primarily funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation since 2018.

Impacts of Yuwaya Ngarra-li projects led by the DEG include a reduction of Aboriginal young people’s contact with the criminal justice system, improved food and water security and care for Country, building of Aboriginal community capabilities and control, the development of new housing models and the reduction of fine debt in Walgett.

Yuwaya Ngarra-li has collected evidence of more than 460 outcomes including:

  • Addressing more than $230,000 worth of fine debt for Aboriginal people after police in Walgett issued the highest rate of COVID fines in the state.
  • Developing and installing the Gali water kiosk in the DEG shopfront which is providing the only safe source of public drinking water to Walgett.
  • Influencing the way the NSW Government is working with Aboriginal communities to access administrative data and providing a case study of how to operationalise Indigenous Data Governance.

Earlier in 2024, the Partnership was a finalist in the First Nations category of the Australian Philanthropy Awards.

For more information, visit the Yuwaya Ngarra-li website https://www.unsw.edu.au/walgett-partnership

Yuwaya Ngarra-li Housing Project Manager Samantha Rich (centre) with Richard Lake and Violet Morgan at the Dharriwaa Elders Group in Walgett, discussing plans for Elders’ housing