Monday, May 25, 2015


Warra Warra Kanyi Counselling and Mentoring Service

Warra-Warra Kanyi is a community-based youth counselling and mentoring service operating from the remote Warlpiri community of Yuendumu. It forms one of the five service branches of the Mt Theo Program. Warra-Warra Kanyi is fully funded by the Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMS) initiative, which is facilitated by the Mental Health branch of FaHCSIA.

The Mt Theo Outstation and the Jaru Pirrjirdi Project have achieved considerable success in assisting many young Warlpiri people to overcome serious issues such as petrol sniffing, and to construct meaningful futures. However, this should not be seen to gloss over or solve the vast and deep array of issues still faced by many young remote Central Australian Indigenous people. Common ‘at risk’ issues include suicidal ideation and attempts, substance misuse (typically alcohol, cannabis), criminal behaviour, assault/violence, relationship breakdown and domestic violence. These issues are prevalent within Warlpiri communities, as they are throughout remote Indigenous Central Australia. Underlying these issues are deep structural constraints such as poor health, poverty, cultural dislocation, lack of decision-making power and resource control and inadequate service provision.

Warra-Warra Kanyi aims to provide community based counselling and mentoring. This service was developed and delivered in and for Warlpiri communities, to address these ongoing risk issues. It delivers its services in partnership with the Mt Theo Outstation and Jaru Pirrjirdi, providing regular counselling and mentoring support to the clients of the Outstation to complement the cultural rehabilitation facilitated by elders there. However the majority (roughly 70%) of the counselling and mentoring work done by Warra-Warra Kanyi occurs in Yuendumu community. Several years of experience and Warlpiri expertise have led to the development of a unique and comprehensive model. The local development of these methods of care have led to a counselling and mentoring model which is culturally appropriate for, and accessed daily by, Warlpiri communities. Furthermore, along with the other service elements of the Mt Theo Program, it forms a strong, comprehensive network of care in which no young Warlpiri person struggles with personal difficulty alone.

To contact the WWK Counselling and Mentoring Service or for the latest Program Brief please email

WWK is fully funded by FAHCSIA, Mental Health Branch, through the Personal Helpers and Mentors Strategy.