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Standing Beside the Kapululangu Women Elders as they Hold their Law and Culture and Make Their Children Strong


Kapululangu Elders Urgently Need Marlpa (Companion) Volunteers & Quickly

Imagine living in an ancient red-dust desert with a small group of Aboriginal Women Elders who are among the Australia’s last First Peoples to have grown up in the desert. These Elders were trained in the Law of the Tjukurrpa (Universal Life Force) before they had first contact with the distorting impact of a foreign society. Couple this with a solid grounding in down-to-Earth everyday living – where the everyday is sacred, and the sacred is every day. And you’ve got Kapululangu! 

The Kapululangu Aboriginal Women’s Law and Culture Centre is located in one of Australia’s most remote Aboriginal communities on the northern edge of Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert. Join us and you will live on a Women’s Law (ceremonial) Ground 

We are looking for some wonderful women who can join us as volunteer Marlpa (Companions) to our Elders as soon as possible. We’re looking for someone to start next week if possible! And want to hear from anyone who would like to join us in August – or any time during the remainder of the year. Or in fact, even next year if you like to plan that far ahead. 

Don’t be fooled! It is hard work. The Marlpa tasks include cooking, cleaning (general housework), assisting with showering and toileting (including incontinence), and driving the Elders shopping, visiting their families, and going hunting, on picnics, and connecting with Country. All of our Elders experience various degrees of dementia, two needs assistance to walk, and two are blind.

In caring for our Elders you get to live with six very wonderful Women Elders with whom you will build strong relationships. All are highly respected Senior Law Women, and Tjarrtjurra (Traditional Women Healers). One of them is the most powerful Law Woman in the east-Kimberley, and another is an extremely powerful Song Woman. Both are world renowned contemporary artists. 

While you spend time contemplating one of the world’s most beautiful deserts, you’ll get to experience Aboriginal culture up-close in a way that will have you exploring your own culture. In this you will be supported by Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Dr Zohl de Ishtar who has lived with the Elders for 15 years, and before that with Indigenous Peoples globally (mainly the Pacific) for 20 years. That means that you don’t have to start at the beginning and won’t have to “do it” by yourself. 

Above all you will know that you are making a very real difference to Aboriginal people’s lives in the desert – because, guess what… that’s exactly what you will be doing. Kapululangu depends on the generosity of the women who are drawn to come and give Service to our Elders. Our Marlpa (Companion) volunteers make it possible for our Elders to keep living in their Country. Our Marlpa are the practical edge of Kapululangu’s commitment to enable our Elders to “live in Country and (where possible) to die in Country”. And for that we are eternally grateful. 

If you would like to join us as a Marlpa at any time please email us at kwc.vols@gmail.com and we’ll get straight back to you. So if you have a month (minimum) or longer to spend with us and think that living with us is the adventure you’d like to have then we invite you to connect up. Remember, our Elders are human and are already frail so don’t wait too long before you get here. 

If you are an at-the-drop-of-a-hat sort of woman we’re particularly looking for someone (or more someones) who can get on a plane and fly here on 9 July from Kununurra (WA) .. or as soon as possible ... in July (2014) and/or in August. 

Remember to email us at kwc.vols@gmail.com 

Sending desert winds for your wings. 


The Kapululangu Women’s Law and Culture Centre
was established by Balgo women elders to assist them in fulfilling
their obligations as the Senior Law Women (ceremonial bosses),
healers, providers and protectors for their families and peoples.

Kapululangu’s elders grew up and were trained in the Old Ways
before the arrival of Kartiya/non-Indigenous people
in their ancestral countries.
This makes them custodians of an immense wealth of stories,
skills and cultural knowledge.  They want to share this wealth.

Kapululangu is a local Indigenous response to
locally-identified problems
using locally-initiated, culturally-based strategies.

It was established by the Balgo Women Elders
because they wanted to enjoy and to teach
the cultural knowledge that was
passed to them by their Old People and Ancestors. 

The elders believe that connectedness with Tjukurrpa
(the Universal Life Force/Dreaming)
through Ceremony, Country and Cultural Awakening 
is an imperative in any attempt to protect their families
from the myriad social problems
impacting their peoples, particularly their young ones.

The peoples' own Law and Culture is the missing piece of the jigsaw.
Education, employment, housing, a strong administration,
improved medical care are all important
but they are all bricks
- - without a strong foundation the wall will fall down.

That strong foundation is made up of Aboriginal people's
own Law (philosopy and discipline of life)
and Culture (traditional and contemporary custom). 

There can be no real and lasting improvement
in remote Aboriginal communities
without the strengthening of a sense of
pride and dignity
in the people's Aboriginality.  
The Elders want their young people
to grow up strong and resilient, 
proud of and knowledgeable in the ways of their people,
secure in their peoples' Law and Culture knowledge,
so that they can better cope with the changing world. 

A peoples' own Law and Culture 
is the glue that holds life together.

The elders must be recentralised and honoured
as cultural knowledge custodians.
The yearning of the young ones
to know themselves must be fulfilled,
and they must be empowered to follow
in the footprints of their ancestors.  

The dances must be danced and the songs sung, 
the stories told,
the connections made with the land, 
and the cosmology experienced. 

Only then can the deep trauma 
caused by decades of cultural colonialism be healed. 

Only then will the people be strong again. 
Strong for Law, Strong for Culture.
"STRONG for Law,
STRONG for Culture"


Kapululangu's Vision 
is of
a vibrant and cohesive community which
honours its Elders,
protects its
Women and Children,
empowers all its residents to
live fulfilling and productive lives
immersed in respect for
self, kin, land and


Please Support the Kapululangu Women 

$20 or even $5 per month
= Cultural Resilience
= Economic Sustainability
= Indigenous Determination

Support Kapululangu Women as your personal initiative
to Closing the Gap.

ou can assist the Kapululangu women 
to  improve the health and wellbeing of
their families by passing their
peoples' Law and Culture
to their younger generations.

It's easy. 
All you need to do is make a monthly programmed payment of
$20 ... or even $10 or $5
... to:  

Kapululangu Aboriginal Women's Association
Commonwealth Bank Kununurra
BSB 066 530
ACN: 10107707


All donations $2 and over are

Kapululangu is an Indigenous Corporation
and a Public Benevolent Institute 
with Deductible Gift Recipient and
Tax Concession Charitable Status.  
ABN: 49137871641


Contact Kapululangu

Kapululangu Aboriginal Women's Association
Private Mail Bag 309 Balgo
via Halls Creek,
Western Australia 6770 Australia
Ph: 0429422645 




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