About Us

Our Mission

We seek to be an effective Warlpiri-led organisation that provides education, early intervention, crisis support and care services to improve the social, cultural, spiritual and emotional wellbeing within the four Warlpiri communities of Lajamanu, Nyirrpi, Willowra and Yuendumu.

  • Healthy, resilient and socially engaged children and young people
  • Strong nurturing families
  • Safe, vibrant communities
  • Strong advocacy for Warlpiri people

Our Values

We believe that health does not just mean the physical wellbeing of the individual but refers to the social, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of the community. We strive to support children, families and young people, from across Warlpiri country, to achieve their full potential and to help them build strong futures. We value honesty and integrity in all we do.

Guiding Principles

Warlpiri patu kurlangu

Warlpiri Leadership and Ownership

Kurdu-kurduku jungarni yaninjaku

Positive and meaningful pathways for young people and families

Mardarni-njaku kurdu-kurdu jintangka

Support for Warlpiri youth and families to deal with hard times

Nguru-ngka taarnga-juku warrki-jarrinjaku manu
nyiya-kanti-kanti mampu-ngku mardarni-njaku

Sustainable resources and infrastructure on country

Jinta-ngka karlipa warrki-jarrimi manu kalipa nyanu purda-nyanyi

Yapa manu kardiya jinta-marri-marri-warrki jarrimi

Unique and responsible working relationships

Yapa and Kardiya working together



Jimmy Langdon (Chairperson) *
Jean Brown (Chairperson) *
Lottie Robertson (Deputy Chairperson) *
Enid Gallagher (Treasurer)
Gina Spencer (Female Youth Representative)
Robin Brown (Male Youth Representative)

Board Members

Agnes Donnelly
Allan Dickson
Alma Robertson
Andrea Tasman
Anna Lisa Egan
Azaria Robertson
Barbara Martin
Beth Patrick
Bruno Wilson
Cedric Egan
Clifford (Scotty) Brown *
Eddie Robertson
Geraldine Dixon
Glenda Wayne

Grace Williams *
Harry Dixon
Jerry Patrick
Julie Kitson
Kathleen Gibson
Katrina Brown
Kirsty Ann Brown
Lance Turner
Louis Watson
Lucky Langdon
Maisie Wayne
Margaret Brown
Margarina Miller *
Myra Herbert
Nellie Wayne
Peggy Brown OAM (Program Founder)
Shaun Kitson
Simone Brown
Steve Patrick
Steven Marshall
Teddy Long
Thomas Rice
Tommy Watson
Valerie Martin
Valerie Patterson
Violet Marshall
Vivienne Marshall
Warren Williams *

* Traditional Owner (Mt Theo)


Jimmy Japanangka Langdon

Jean Napanangka Brown

Lottie Napangardi Robertson
Deputy Chairperson, Senior Cultural Advisor and Outstation Carer (Yuendumu)

Peggy Nampijinpa Brown OAM
Program Founder, Senior Cultural Advisor and Outstation Carer

Peggy is the Outstation program founder and continues to work at the outstation and occasionally visit other communities to tell the story of how WYDAC beat petrol sniffing.

Sunaina Pinto
General Manager – Youth and Family Services (Yuendumu)

Sunaina came to WYDAC with nine years of experience working with young people, in intensive case management settings. Sunaina worked predominantly with young people who were homeless with high and complex needs, including chronic AOD misuse, complex mental health issues and high levels of interaction with the legal and state “care” systems. Sunaina has worked for The Wayside Chapel, The Crossing, Mission Australia, The Shopfront Legal centre, and has volunteered at WIPAN and Just reinvest. Sunaina is a strong advocate for justice and human rights for young people and believes in the value and importance of Indigenous language and culture in Australia and is interested in contributing to initiatives, programs and organisations that keep the diversity and strength of these alive. Sunaina arrived at WYDAC mid 2015 and was the Jaru Pirrijirdi (Yuendumu youth program) Coordinator for just over a year before accepting the role as the Youth Services Manager at Wydac, both her experience and interest have made her a good fit in the desert and she feels excited (and terrified!) about the challenges ahead.

Ashley Janssen
General Manager – Corporate Services (Alice Springs)

Thomas Jangala Rice
Senior Cultural Advisor (Yuendumu)

Thomas Rice is a respected Yuendumu elder and one of the founders of the Jaru Pirrjirdi Program. Thomas has worked alongside the Coordinators of Jaru Pirrjirdi to teach young people about Warlpiri Law and Culture. With his family’s support, Thomas’ work with Jaru Pirrjirdi has been instrumental in its success.

Eddie Robertson
Senior Cultural Advisor and Outstation Carer (Yuendumu)

Enid Gallagher
Treasurer and Senior Cultural Advisor (Yuendumu)

Jerry Patrick
Senior Cultural Advisor (Lajamanu)

Steve Patrick
Senior Cultural Advisor (Lajamanu)

Lance Turner
Senior Cultural Advisor (Nyirrpi)

Teddy Long
Senior Cultural Advisor (Willowra)

Julie Kitson
Senior Cultural Advisor (Willowra)

Gráinne Martin
Finance Manager (Yuendumu)

Lauren Day
Youth Services Manager (Yuendumu)

Liam Campbell
Contracts and Communications Manager (Alice Springs)

Jean Manda
HR and Quality Manager (Alice Springs)

Management and Administration

  • Promote strong Warlpiri governance, leadership and employment
  • Robust quality management system ensures adherence to legislative & contractual compliances
  • ISO 9001:2008 Accreditation since 2011 and audited annually
  • Financial accountability overseen by the Board, accounts reviews, annual independent audit

Program History

WYDAC, then Mt Theo Program, was started in 1993 by the Yuendumu Community to address chronic petrol sniffing in Yuendumu. Elders of the Yuendumu Community initiated and ran the program at their own expense, with additional support from local organisations such as the School and Shop. There was no other initial formal funding.

The program began by taking those young people who were sniffing petrol to Mt Theo Outstation, some 160km from Yuendumu. At Mt Theo Outstation, elders cared for the youth, as part of a cultural rehabilitation program on sacred and remote Warlpiri country. Mt Theo Outstation clients spend time in the cultural respite and rehabilitation program, where they reconnect with their culture, family, health and education in a supportive and caring remote bush environment. Clients may present with any ‘youth at risk’ issue, not just for petrol sniffing or substance misuse, and are referred by Community Elders, Police and Corrections. Since 1993 Mt Theo Outstation has taken over 500 young Warlpiri clients from over 14 different communities, including Alice Springs.

The other core service introduced in 1993 was a comprehensive Youth Diversionary Program in Yuendumu. Elders saw the underlying need for youth to be engaged, interested and challenged by activities outside of school hours and thus not engage in at risk behavior. In 2002 the Yuendumu youth diversion program was expanded beyond basic ‘sport, rec and entertainment’ to a comprehensive youth development service aimed at facilitating strong future pathways and leadership activities. This Jaru Pirrjirdi (Strong Voices) program focused on the creation of meaningful life and pathways for Yuendumu youth through additional assistance with education, training, employment and targeted project work.

Elders of other Warlpiri communities noted the strength of these efforts and in 2004 in Willowra, 2007 in Nyirrpi and 2008 in Lajamanu, WYDAC was invited, and funded, to implement youth diversion and development programs in each of these three communities. In 2008 this also saw the development of Yuendumu Swimming Pool. WYDAC now has permanent full time staff in each of these communities providing positive, healthy, engaging and challenging diversionary and development activities for youth of all ages. These youth programs also serve as a critical referral and aftercare pathway for the client services such as Mt Theo Outstation and the Counselling teams.

Clients in Yuendumu are supported by the Warra-Warra Kanyi Counselling program. Since 2009, our professionally qualified counsellors and local staff provide skilled individual and group client support within Yuendumu. This service also includes an after-hours crisis response service. More recently the Client Services team has also extended its services to also provide client counseling, support and education services to the WYDAC Outreach communities.

Youth Services


Natasha Jones
Jaru Pirrjirdi Coordinator

Vivienne ‘Mingo’ Marshall
Jaru Pirrjirdi Youth Development Worker

Roxanne Fry
Jaru Pirrjirdi Youth Development Worker

Andrea Tasman
Jaru Pirrjirdi Youth Development Worker

Jack Hodges
Youth Development Worker

Kira Briscoe
Jaru Pirrjirdi Youth Development Worker

Belinda Shrimpton
Youth Development Worker

Jintangka Mardaninjaku

Jean Brown
Community Development Worker

Yuendumu Swimming Pool

Parua Riwaka
Pool Coordinator

Shaquille Presley

Valerie Martin
Cultural Supervisor


Cassie Nugent
Jaru Pirrdjirdi Coordinator

Steven Morton
Sport and Rec Mentor

Judith Barns
Lajamanu Team Leader

Odessa Tippett
Youth Development Worker

Juany Simon
Youth Development Worker

Oska Mills
Youth Development Worker

Sophie Noone
Youth Development Worker

Jennifer Burks
Lead Educator – Lajamanu Early Learning Centre


Andrew Graham
Youth Development Worker

Antoinette Glen
Jaru Pirrjirdi Youth Development Worker

Bradley Forrest
Jaru Pirrjirdi Youth Development Worker

Gideon Presley
Jaru Pirrjirdi Youth Development Worker


Lance Turner
Cultural Advisor

Learning Centre

Yuendumu Pina Pina Jarrinjaku

Natalie Sargent
Learning Centre Manager

Family and Client Services

Warra-Warra Kanyi (WWK)

Ojisi Charlie
WWK Coordinator

Geraldine Dixon
WWK Senior Youth Mentor

Taylee Healy
WWK Counsellor

Cedric Egan
WWK Senior Youth Mentor

Rhonda (Shi) Robertson
WWK Youth Mentor

Intensive Family Support Service (IFSS)

Hannah Case
IFSS Case Worker (Yuendumu)

Matthew Egan
IFSS Senior Worker (Yuendumu)

Enid Gallagher
IFSS Senior Worker (Yuendumu)

Belinda Wayne
IFSS Mentor (Yuendumu)

Grace Butcher
IFSS Mentor (Yuendumu)

Sharon Anderson
IFFS Mentor (Lajamanu)

Hamilton Morris
IFFS Mentor (Lajamanu)

Mt Theo Outstation

Louie Watson
Assistant Outstation Coordinator

Steven Marshall
Outstation Carer

Audrey Brown
Outstation Carer

Clifford Brown
Outstation Carer

Katrina Brown
Outstation Carer

Lorraine Ryder Granites
Outstation Carer

Steven Collins
Outstation Carer

Paul Marshall
Outstation Carer