Warra Warra Kanyi – Staff
Warra-Warra Kanyi has been operating as a distinct program element in Yuendumu since the beginning of 2009. A wonderful core team have been established in this time, with a view and capacity to establishing other positions within the project.
The staff of Warra-Warra Kanyi includes a Senior Cultural Advisor, Male and Female Mentors, and Program Counsellor.
Senior Cultural Advisor
Jean Napanangka Brown is the Senior Cultural Advisor. Jean has fifteen years of experience in working with at-risk Warlpiri youth at the Mt Theo Outstation, through her role as a Senior Client Carer. She has also worked extensively with young people experiencing difficulty in Yuendumu. She is a respected senior community member, and is a councillor with the Central Desert Shire. Jean is a current member of the Youth Justice Advisory Committee for the Northern Territory, informing government on youth justice issues. Jean has also travelled to Canada to share and expand upon her experience of Indigenous rehabilitation models. Of particular note is the paper by Jean and former employee Karissa Preuss in Drug and Alcohol Review, Volume 25, Issue 3, 2006.
Trainee Mentors form the fourth integral element of our formal staffing arrangement. These mentors are participants of the Jaru Pirrjirdi project who are trained and supported to strengthen the skills and support they need to mentor their at-risk peers. Check out the Mentors page for more information.
Helma Quinn-Leeman joined WYDAC in 2012 as the WWK Counsellor. The Warra-Warra Kanyi Counsellor works closely with the Youth Mentor and Senior Cultural Advisor to provide appropriate, valuable counselling support to individual clients. This role also involves the provision of formal therapeutic support to the team of Jaru Pirrjirdi mentors, family members involved in client care, and with the broader Yuendumu community. This includes the development of preventative and educative interventions and resources.
Ruth Bignell is the Warra-Warra Kanyi Advisor. Ruth is a qualified Counsellor (B.A., Grad. Dip Counselling) who has been living in Warlpiri communities since April 2006. She has gained significant experience working with at-risk Warlpiri youth through her extensive involvement with the Mt Theo Outstation, and the youth program at Yuendumu.