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Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation (Mt Theo)

05/12/2010

The Mt Theo Program was started in 1993, by Yuendumu elders. The Program successfully treated and ended chronic petrol sniffing in Yuendumu, by:

(a) cultural rehabilitation at Mt Theo Outstation and
(b) youth diversionary services in Yuendumu.

In 2003 the program expanded, with the Outstation broadening beyond petrol sniffing to other substance abuse/youth at risk issues. Today community and court referrals to the Outstation come from over 14 Central Australian communities.

Similarly in 2003 there was a deepening of basic youth program to a comprehensive youth development program (Jaru Pirrjirdi Strong Voices), that offers leadership, education, training, cultural and career pathways.

Further significant developments since then include:

1. Outreach to 3 other Warlpiri communities (Willowra, Nyirrpi and Lajamanu) at the request of the senior people from those communities. This extension underpinned the creation of the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation (WYDAC).

2. Creation in 2009 of the Warra Warra Kanyi Counselling service. The counselling service sees over 75 young clients per year, as well as engaging in prevention and group project work.

WYDAC programs now include :

1. Youth Diversion and Development Programs at Yuendumu (including the Jaru Pirrjidi Youth Development program), Willowra, Nyirrpi and Lajamanu. The youth development programs at Willowra, Nyirripi and Lajamanu include the Youth and Media Training program run in partnership with PAW Media.

2. Yuendumu Swimming Pool

3. Yuendumu Mechanic Training Workshop

4. Warra Warra Kanyi Counselling and Mentoring

5. Mt Theo Cultural Respite and RehabilitationOutstation

Mt Theo has strong and committed relationships with residents and fellow community organisations such as PAW Media, local shops, Arts and Womens Centres throughout the Warlpiri region.

The program is passionately dedicated to creating meaningful futures to Warlpiri Youth. It remains under the control and ownership of the Warlpiri people with a 59 member Warlpiri Committee and a 60% ratio of Warlpiri salaried staff.

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