In early August, over 30 people from Balgo, Wangkatjungka, Mulan and Billiluna joined families from Kiwirrkurra, Kintore and Kunawarritji at Nyinmi outstation, located west of Kiwirrkurra in the Gibson Desert.
For three days, elders reconnected with important places and showed this country to their young people for the first time. They mapped songlines and walking tracks, recorded knowledge for future generations and groundtruthed 4 new rockholes south of Nyirla.
Purple House were asked to assist with this trip by making it possible for two renal patients to attend. After being forced to move to Perth to access life-saving dialysis treatment, Tossie Baadjo and Maggie Nangagee were flown to Nyinmi by helicopter with family and friends excitedly awaiting their arrival.
Purple House Dialysis Operations Manager, Megan Croft, went out to assist the Kiwirrkurra renal unit in dialysing the extra two patients. She was struck by “how empowered everyone was” cooking bush food and roo tails over the fire, sharing stories of the old days and painting Country with a “renewed vigour after knowledge was imparted and identity and connection to ancestral country strengthened” (Warlayirti – Balgo Art).
Earlier this month, Kiwirrkurra celebrated 40 years of the community. Thanks to Michael Smith’s award-winning water treatment system, many dialysis patients, including Purple House Director and senior Pintupi man Bobby West, have been able to return home to Country and family.