About 450 Pintupi people live in the remote community of Kintore, known as Walungurru in the Pintupi language, 530km west of Alice Springs.
In 2005 the indigenous community used money from artwork sales to build the community pool. Since then, the council has been maintaining the pool – a costly exercise in the western desert.
Monica Robinson, the Walungurru leader, says they have now started fundraising again.
“We have generous donations for solar panels and a new filter at cost but we need financial support to install everything as the community is in the middle of the desert and getting trades out there is expensive,” she says.
“We hope to gain enough money to give our kids free entry as a reward for going to school in 2020. We have to empower our kids,” she says.
Almost half of the Kintore community are children, with 40 per cent of the population under the age of 18.
The initial fundraising goal is $25,000, which will provide the first of the free entry tickets for children. SPASA is working with its members to supply products including an upgraded filtration system. During the installation process Red Dust (an NGO that has been operating in remote indigenous communities for 20 years), the MacDonnell Regional Council and SPASA plan to work together with local community members to build capacity with indigenous youth.
“Research has found swimming pools provide a range of health and wellbeing benefits. In communities like Kintore, hygiene can be improved and infection rates, particularly eye and skin infections, can be reduced,” says Nadia Brandon-Black who is helping drive this fundraiser with her colleagues Fran Island-Noles and Ed Murphy, after attending a cultural immersion with Red Dust this year.