Wingellina is very close to the Northern Territory and Western Australian border. It is surrounded by large granite hills. Although the hills are very high they are not steep. The surrounding lands are rocky, prickly mallee and mulga country. There are also a lot of tall gum trees in that area and the local aboriginals make carved wooden artefacts (purnu). Buyer's travel into the Ngaanyatjarra lands buying the artefacts. This community now enjoy modern facilities and even though there is a store in the community, the aboriginal people still maintain some of their traditional activities such as hunting and gathering bush tucker. Bush raisins are a very popular food that is high in Vitamin C. They are called Kampurarrpa and bush tomatoes called Pintalypa.
RADIO CALL SIGN
Wingellina is 12 km south west of Surveyor General's Corner, near the junction of Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australian borders.
Community Office operates on Central Standard time.
The airstrip is located directly north of the Irrunytju Community, with a taxi strip to the parking bay immediately west of the community centre.
The single, all-weather gravel runway is 1600 metres long x 15 metres wide, and is 2200 feet above sea level.
Due to rising terrain, obstructions in the aircraft circuit area Wingellina is not cleared for night emergency operations.
The airstrip parking bay currently has no refuelling.
Chart Air operate a regular air service to Irrunytju from Alice Springs each Tuesday.
Ngaanyatjarraku Shire maintains the major roads which link Irrunytju with Warburton and the Great Central Road.
The overall objectives of the BRACS project are to support the maintenance and development of Aboriginal culture and language through the use of video recording/TV and audio recording/radio.
The program is designed to provide BRACS training to CDEP media workers in all Ngaanyatjarra Lands Communities, plus Tjuntjuntjarra and Coonana.
The Media Centre is located behind the administration complex.
Four (4) radio stations are re-broadcast to the community through the BRACS facility.
Store workers start at 9.00 am and 2.30 pm. The store doors open from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm, and 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm on weekdays, and 9.30am to 11.30 on Saturday. Half a day only on Wednesday.
The store sells diesel and Opal fuel, available during store trading hours. There is a $20 opening fee for out-of-hours fuel sales until sunset.
COMMUNITY WOMEN'S FACILITY
Managed by Women's Program Support Worker.
Aged Care Services
AGED PEOPLE'S FACILITIES
COMMUNITY FAMILY SERVICES
COMMUNITY FIRE SERVICE
Reticulated water has fire hydrants as marked on the town plan.
COMMUNITY AMBULANCE SERVICE
COMMUNITY EMERGENCY EVACUATION
At night, medical emergency patients must be driven 70 kms to Blackstone (Papulankutja) airstrip for evacuation by RFDS aircraft to Kalgoorlie or Alice Springs.
The community pays Blackstone an airstrip night usage fee of $85.
COMMUNITY FUEL DEPOT
COMMUNITY RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
The community is a founding member of Maruku Arts and Crafts, the large Art and Crafts retail and wholesale outlet at Yulara Tourist Resort. Maruku sells Ngaanyatjarra art to local tourists, and exports it to galleries around Australia and overseas.
The Community Heritage Art Project purchases traditional paintings by Irrunytju artists to be kept as the Irrunytju Community Heritage, and to be shown and curated for the community by the Warburton Arts Centre.
Women from Irrunytju have successfully exhibited their art work in regional competitions and won several prizes and high commendation.
The community organises a regional Inma Festival each year. The event is recorded by Irrunytju Media and video taped copies sold.
Community dancers have been highly commended for performances they have given at Barunga, Adelaide, Perth, Alice Springs, Kalgoorlie and Townsville.
The Community Women's Centre provides a popular facility for women to practise their painting, fabric painting, tie dyeing and arts and crafts.
Aged Care Facility provides meal services and carers on a fee-for-service-basis.
Councillors are community members elected by community members to hold office for three (3) years.
There is no limit to the number of Councillors who can be appointed.
A minimum of five (5) Councillors is required to form a quorum for any meeting. (Section 12 of the Irrunytju Constitution and Rules).
Council meets for the dispatch of business as often as necessary, and at such time and place as it may nominate.
This GOVERNING COMMITTEE is responsible for the management and conduct of the affairs of the Irrunytju Community Inc and for control of its funds and property. The Governing Committee meets at least every two months to consider and process community business.
The objectives of the CDA position are to -
1. Provide the community with specific and effective advice on all matters relating to its development.
2. Provide effective management and co-ordination of projects and staff so that the policies and aspirations of the community are achieved.
3. Liaise with a wide range of individuals and organisations for the development of the community and the securing of resources to further the objectives of the community.
CDEP PROJECT OFFICER
Other CDEP Management Supervisors are: Clerical Assistant (Office); Store Manager (Store); Media Trainers (BRACS); Health Sister (Clinic); Aged Care Worker (Aged Care); Women's Centre Worker (Women's Centre and Play Group); Principal (School); Heritage Art Project Worker; Sport and Recreation.
From the community office the Advisor, and Clerical Assistant, Liaison Officer and six CDEP-funded office workers provide a wide range of administrative and financial management services to members and community enterprises.
The community office complex is air conditioned and has a multi-purpose conference room.
The office is open daily from 9.30 am to 11.30 am, and 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, Central Standard Time.
The clinic provides primary and preventative health services to community members.
Emergency evacuations are done as and when necessary by RFDS Kalgoorlie. As the Wingellina (Irrunytju) airstrip is not safe for night operations, patients requiring evacuation at night are driven 70kms from Irrunytju Clinic to Blackstone airstrip, which is approved for night emergency operations.
SPECIALIST HEALTH SERVICES
COMMUNITY SCHOOL FACILITIES
The primary school teaches children from 4 years - 19 years; preparatory to Year 12.
High school students have, in the past, attended the Wiltja School in Adelaide, South Australia, but now attend Wongatha CAPS, Esperance.
Non-compulsory aged students who wish to further their education can stay at Wing Primary or go to Wongatha CAPS, Esperance.
Correspondence education is available at Irrunytju Community through School of the Air, Alice Springs.
Student Numbers: 20. Average Attendance: varies
COMMUNITY TRAINING PROGRAMMES
Training is an integral part of the community's CDEP program, and is currently provided in the following areas:
Office - AWS Accredited Course (2 Clerical Modules). On the job training by clerical assistant; visiting AWS trainer.
Store - AWS Accredited Course (2 Certificates). On the job training by store manager; visiting AWS trainer.
Clinic - Ngaanyatjarra Health Service Accredited Course. On the job training by clinic sister; block release to Ngaanyatjarra College.
Play Group - On the job training by Community Development Advisor; Visiting NPY Women's Council Play Group Trainer and Assistant.
CDEP Works Program and - On the job training by Project Officer;
Women's Program - On the job training and workshops - NPY Women's Council Trainers periodically.
Media - BRACS training - On The Job Training - 2 Media Trainers resident at Wingellina; Batchelor College Certificate in Broadcasting Course block releases.
LAW/ORDER AND JUSTICE SERVICES
The Court of Petty Sessions at Warburton sits weekly, or when necessary, and offenders found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment are transferred to the Kalgoorlie Prison.
There are two Community Wardens and a Community Liaison Officer.
Goal 10 of the Irrunytju Community's Strategic Development Plan is -
"To empower the Governing Committee to creatively manage all Community Law and Order matters so as to reduce the number of Members needing to enter the Justice System"
To this end, a community court system has been established.
The basis of this system is that the community seeks to assist offenders by analysis of their problems, provision of remedial care, and imposition of appropriate supervised community-based punishment. Wages from Community Based Work Orders go into a damages fund to enable to community to repair and pay for any wilful damage.
Where necessary, offenders are dealt with by police in the orthodox way and summarily charged before the Court of Petty Sessions, Warburton, for judgement and sentencing.
Has been operating since 1979.
Employs 42 females and 44 males (1998).
Employment activities include:
Municipal Works, Community Services, Land Management, Traditional and Cultural Activities, Housing Maintenance, Sport and Recreational Activities, Women's Resource Centre Activities, Play Group, Community Construction Programs, Law and Order Activities, Media Centre Program Activities.
The community CDEP also pays wages for community people who are employed in the community office, community store, community health clinic, and the community workshop (when operational), tourism.
Twenty-three (23) pit latrines are maintained to provide a standby facility should individual septics or the proposed deep sewerage system fail.
One (1) public toilet is located near the community Church and two (2) in the Hall.
COMMUNITY RUBBISH COLLECTION
Rubbish is moved to deep pits and buried.
COMMUNITY WATER SUPPLY
Water is connected to all residents, the clinic, the school, the store, the office, and all community centres.
Water flow from the 3 potable bores is sufficient for community housing and personal needs, but insufficient to enable the establishment of an Environmental Health Landscaping Program for the community.
Irrunytju Community is located on a very wind-swept, elevated site. The township, as a result of wind erosion, has become a barren landscape, with dusty housing allotments and bare, open spaces, with blown dust causing an excess of eye, chest and nasal complaints throughout community members.
Good landscaping, providing shelter belts of trees and grassed allotments, will play an important part in improving community health.
COMMUNITY POWER SUPPLY
4 x 150 KVA
24 hour power is supplied, and power does not fluctuate.
49000 litre diesel fuel storage is provided at the power house in 3 above-ground tanks.
The CDEP Project Officer monitors power house operations and its fuel management.
State Government Western Power Community Power House Services provide funds for, and maintenance of, Irrunytju Power Service.
Irrunytju or Wingellina is located close to the WA/SA border in the vicinity of the Wingellina Hills. Irrunytju is the name of a site in the hills to the south of the community. Like the Warburton Ranges, these hills are part of the Central Ranges region that stretches from Warburton in the west to the Mann Ranges in South Australia. The majority of residents are Pitjantjatjara speakers.
The development of a community in this area was initiated by yarnangu in response to mining activities in the area during the late 1950s. Nickel exploration and chyrsoprase mining attracted several large companies including International Nickel and many illegal prospectors.
Individual and small groups of prospectors had been travelling around the Lands as early as the 1900s. The relationship between them and yarnangu was at times mutually beneficial (particularly for trading purposes) but it was also characterised by conflict and violence. Oral history, official mission and government reports and the diaries of some of the early explorers and prospectors describe Aboriginal people being tied up and forced to lead groups to water and deliberate shootings prompted by fear or revenge for incidents of theft.
Despite the establishment of the Reserve in 1922 to protect yarnangu interests, by 1955 a large area from Mt Davies in SA to Jameson in WA had been excised from the Reserve to allow for exploration and mining. This was returned to the Reserve in 1972.
Like the Warburton Mission, many people came to congregate around the Wingellina mining camps. Some yarnangu were engaged in work, paid for in rations. Others came both to work and make sure that sites of significance, in particular those associated with the Papa (Dog) Dreaming, were protected from exploration and mining activity. The existence of sites of significance was acknowledged by some companies who instructed their mining personnel to respect them or be dismissed and/or prosecuted. Some companies even went so far as to hire yarnangu guides. There were many cases of site damage and feelings of great anxiety amongst yarnangu.
Once the miners left, yarnangu stayed and established a permanent community in the vicinity of the mining camps using the existing infrastructure (airstrips, shelters, windmills etc) and the funds provided by the Government. The community became incorporated in 1976 and a member of the Ngaanyatjarra Council in 1981.
Today the miners have returned. A large deposit of oxide nickel first identified by the mining company Inco has now been shown to be more extensive and deeper than originally thought. It remains to be seen whether it will be an economically viable deposit given the remoteness of this region.
Because Irrunytju is a member of the Ngaanyatjarra Council, there is a team of lawyers and anthropologists whose job it is to negotiate with all prospective mining companies strong agreements that ensure yarnangu interests are looked after.
Yarnangu are once again concerned both for their country but also for their well established community which they have proudly built from the remains of an abandoned mining camp.