Balgo Dialysis Appeal
We’re working to keep our families, communities and culture together and strong – will you join us?
End-stage kidney disease is a triple blow when it hits Aboriginal people in remote communities like Balgo (Wirramanu). We’re told that if we want to live, we must move off country and far away to undergo dialysis treatment for the rest of our lives. That means that we have to leave our homes, families and communities forever.
For our families, they lose a mother, grandmother, auntie, sister or cousin. They don’t have us around the fire any more talking stories, sharing Tjukurrpa, teaching language, painting and singing.
For community, they lose an elder or a middle-aged person, someone who sits on the board of our community organisations, teaching at school or working at the clinic. Older people are usually the ones that paint at the art centre, organise ceremony, look after kids and grandkids. When they leave a thread that helps keep our community together and culture strong is pulled from the fabric, making it weaker.
This is why we’re working hard to build a dialysis clinic in Balgo, to keep people on Country and to bring people who have left back home.
What do we need?
The good news is, we have the funding we need now!!
Purple House will work with the community to get dialysis to Balgo and operate the clinic. Wirrimanu Aboriginal Corporation have offered land for the clinic.
Between public and private funding we are now able to build the clinic and fit it out. Once built, each dialysis treatment done in Balgo will attract Medicare funding, providing a sustainable funding stream to keep people home on Country.
What you can do
To all those who supported the Balgo Dialysis Appeal…
We’re over the moon that you’ve helped us get to our target…
Patrick Tjungurrayi: Beyond Borders
Discover the art, story, resilience and leadership of this extraordinary man.
Join the FRIENDS OF BALGO GROUP to receive updates on events, fundraising and project developments
Purple House Exhibition @ AGNSW
In 2021-22 an exhibiiton of leading Pintupi artists was held to celebrate 21 years since the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal.
What’s so special about Balgo (Wirramanu)?
If you’ve ever visited or bought a painting from here, you’ll know why Balgo is special. It’s one of Australia’s most remote regions, right on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The Country is our ngurra (home).
Our families settled there during the mid-twentieth century when it was becoming harder and harder to live as we chose in the desert. Eight different language groups came together to make a home, building the community with their hands. With big colour and bigger stories, we painted differently, creating a vibrant industry which became world famous. We did this to care for our families in the safety and security of Balgo – on beautiful Country where we belonged. We built a community to live in, and an art movement to share it. Now we need dialysis to help keep our artists and families here with us.
Thank you for your help to make this a reality.
Image credit: Lucinda White
If you would like to talk about the Balgo Dialysis project please contact us on
firstname.lastname@example.org or 08 8929 9934.
Thank you for your support!