A warning for readers this story contains triggering topics such as Suicide and Domestic Violence
Each night women and children seek safety and care at the Galupa Community Women’s Shelter, but failing infrastructure is making it harder to provide support.
The shelter is led by Gumatj Clan Elder Gayili Marika Yunupingu, an award winning humanitarian credited for turning the suicide rate in her community from the highest rate in Australia to zero.
When a mining company offered $3 million dollars to relocate the women of Galupa, Ms Yunupingu declined choosing to maintain their cultural identity.
Now the women and children live surrounded by a mining company.
Gayli and the women are aiming to raise $100,000 for critical upgrades to secure critical infrastructure in order to provide increased services for women and children seeking refuge from domestic violence and suicide in North East Arnhem Land.
Ms Yunupingu says the funding will help provide help in a culturally safe environment.
“It is time to recognise all the people who are working on the ground, working really hard, volunteering our time freely without funding to help our young people and to try and heal them.
We need to upgrade our facilities now so we can continue this important work.”
Women and children are taught by Gayli, to paint their traditional stories.
“When we paint or make a carving we are telling the stories of our Culture.
This is good for the Women, it’s healing. And reminds them that they have an important place in the world as Women of Culture,” Ms Yunupingu said.
Nationwide, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people commit suicide at a rate two times higher than non Indigenous Australians, and Indigenous women are 45 times more likely to experience domestic violence, than non Indigenous women.
To donate or purchase art to support Galupa visit their crowdfunding campaign.
If this Story has stirred up anything in you, 13 YARN offers 24/7 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Crisis Support on 13 92 76
Image Courtesy of the Galupa Community.