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Join ngangkari (traditional healers) and acclaimed artists Rene Kulitja and Pantjiti Lewis from the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council (NPYWC) for a workshop as part of The Art of Healing: Australian Indigenous Bush Medicine  exhibition programme.

The workshop will explore the practice of Uti Kulintjaku, meaning 'to think and understand clearly', and the NPYWC’s Uti Kulintjaku program. Uti Kulintjaku is an Aboriginal-led resilience building initiative operating across the remote communities of Central Australia by community leaders working collaboratively with mental health professionals. It operates at the interface of two knowledge systems and in three languages, Pitjantjatjara, Ngaanyatjarra and English, drawing on both aboriginal and western knowledge to find ways of addressing issues related to improving Anangu (Aboriginal) wellbeing.

Aboriginal people from remote communities experience trauma, psychological distress, high rates of suicide and self-harm. They are are over represented in hospital admissions and have less access to, or do not use, mental health services. There is limited understanding and discussion about the underlying causes of poor mental health among community members and their local services.

Over the past five years, NPYWC’s Uti Kulintjaku program has developed a team of Anangu ‘experts’ who work with other organisations and communities, their families and with young people on bush camps. Their expanded knowledge about trauma, mental health and wellbeing improves resilience, the prevention of these issues and promotes help seeking behaviour.

The team have created a range of resources and tools, and in this workshop Rene and Pantjiti will discuss how they use these tools to address the problems of remote aboriginal Australia. There will also be a guided meditation in Pitjantjatjara, songs, bush medicine and more.

Tickets cost £5 and can be bought on the Eventbrite page.

Please note the exhibition is closed Saturdays and Sundays. 

About the hosts

Rene Kulitja was born in Pukatja and grew up in the APY Lands in the far north west of South Australia. She is well known as an artist and in 2015 she represented Tjanpi Desert Weavers in the Venice Biennale. She is a founding director of Walkatjara Arts at Uluru and chairperson of Maruku Arts Governing Committee. Rene is a traditional owner for Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, handed back to traditional owners in 1985, and sits on the Board of Management. She is a director of NPY Women’s Council and a member of the Uti Kulintjaku team

Pantjiti Imitjala Lewis grew up in Pukatja community. She is an acclaimed artist, singer and dancer and a member of the NPYWC Uti Kulintjaku team. She is a ngangkari and a long term health worker at Nganampa Health clinic at Pukatja community in the APY Lands. Pantjiti has extensive practical knowledge and experience working with both traditional and mainstream medicine. Pantjiti is also a traditional owner of Uluru and a director of the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park Board of Management.

NPYWC Ngangkari Program is a dynamic group of ngangkari who are also highly respected artists, teachers, and health workers. As well as applying their traditional skills as healers in their communities, they provide advice to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people outside their communities.

NPY Women’s Council (NPYWC) is a service delivery, advocacy and support organisation created by Anangu women from the 28 remote communities in the tristate border region of NT, SA and WA. NPYWC delivers a range of services and programs working with Anangu to improve their health, wellbeing and safety as well as supporting ongoing cultural practice.     

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