All Year: Yes
Area (ha): an Endless Desert
Persons: 1 or 2 - Women Only
Host ID: 22609
Region: Western Australia
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Last Updated: April 2, 2019
We are an Australian Aboriginal women's culture centre in Western Australia Kimberley region.
We are always looking for women (aged 25 to 55) volunteers to assist us in caring for four Aboriginal Women Elders (aged 75 to 85) who have various care needs in their own shared home.
We need your help! We are committed to enabling our Women Elders to continue to live in their own home, in their own community, on their ancestral homelands. We are a fully volunteer organisation fully dedicated to our Elders who were born and grew up in the Australian desert before they had first contact with White/modern society.
Job: Personal Caring, Cooking, Cleaning/Housework, Shopping, Driving (must have manual licence). The nearest comparable job description would be: Aged Care - although we are not an aged care facility. We're an Aboriginal Women's Culture Centre.
Work Hours: Work hours are flexible but generally from 8am to 8pm (depending on staff numbers). Every second or third day off (depending on number of staff) you will sleep in same room as the Elders. Please note that the work is just the common sense of managing a house with others (cooking, cleaning, house-keeping), looking after aged people (personal care), and driving and shopping. The hours are long and the work is hard but, in exchange, you to get to experience a remote Aboriginal community, you build relationships with the Women Elders, and you can explore the country-side on your day off. You need to be flexible to the needs of our Elders.
We are Australia's most remote women's centre. We are a core provider of Aboriginal Women's Law (ceremonial) and Culture (custom) events and activities to Indigenous and Non-Indigenous women from the Kimberley, across Australia and around the world.
Please note that our cultural activities are seasonal. This means that it is not guaranteed that we'll be doing any traditional cultural activities during your stay. So please don't come expecting there to be any ceremonies or cultural activities while you are here.
We are located in Balgo in the South-East Kimberley of Western Australia. Balgo is 850km north-west of Alice Springs and 295km south of Halls Creek.
We are the residential home of three Aboriginal Women Elders who grew up in the desert before White Society arrived in their ancestral homelands - only 70 years ago.
In accordance with Aboriginal Culture, we are women-only. We welcome women of all cultural backgrounds to join us living with and caring for the Elders. We cannot accommodate men, children, or pets.
We are looking for women who are flexible and are prepared to do what it takes to ensure our Elders have their needs met.
In exchange you will get to live with the Women Elders, share their lives, and learn about their Community and their Culture - and also have insights into yourself through your relations with Aboriginal people.
We can only accept women able to stay for a minimum of one month. In our experience most visitors don't want to leave once they get here. So it's best not to tie yourself into a "must return home" date.
Balgo is surrounded by beautiful desert and you will get the opportunity to enjoy some of the very special out-of-the-way places that most Australians don't get to visit. But just being in the community is a unique experience in its own.
We have two residential houses, with the normal facilities. You will live in the same house as the Elders, or one nearby. You will be expected to share a room with other volunteers and to occasionally sleep in the same long-room as the Elders.
All meals are eaten together. You will be required to contribute $100 per week to food (as we all do). If you have any special needs please discuss them with us prior to coming as they may not be available at our local Store.
Balgo community is 95% Aboriginal residents. In addition to the Women's Centre, our community has a Medical Clinic (with doctor), well-stocked Store/Shop, a Primary School, a Catholic Parish (the main Church service is Saturday evenings), a Police Station, a world famous Art Centre (where you can see wonderful art by local people), and a Local Aboriginal Council.
Balgo doesn't have a bank, but we have an ATM at the local Store/shop. We have a weekly mail plane which carries both postage and passengers.
Phone must be Telstra NextG. Internet is available - please bring your own laptop computer and Telstra NextG modem.
You can fly into Balgo on the weekly Wednesday mail plane from Kununurra. The flight from Kununurra costs $250 One way. You must cover your own cost of travel as Kapululangu is not funded and we are all volunteers, even the Executive Director. You can not book this plane without the written authorisation of our organisation.
Balgo is a legally Closed Community. You must be granted a permit before coming here. So please do not come without arranging with us to obtain a permit for you. We also need to give you permission to be able to get on the plane to fly into our community.
If you want to make a difference to Aboriginal peoples' lives while having fun and learning heaps then here is a great place to do it.
We guarantee that if you come you will have a remarkable experience. Spending time with the Women Elders is undeniably an opportunity of a lifetime!
You must have passable English spoken language as English is our Women Elders' fourth or fifth language - coming well after all the Indigenous languages they speak and understand.