Palya Art proudly supports and promotes the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal and the work of the Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation.
The Western Desert Dialysis Appeal started in 2000 as a community inspired venture raising funds to help patients in remote communities get local treatment for Kidney Disease and End Stage Renal Failure. Kidney disease and renal failure in remote communities is caused by poor nutrition and living conditions – vastly changed from just a few generations ago.
The aim of the Appeal was to provide remote communities with much needed medical facilities so patients could return to or remain on country with family and communities.
Patients forced far away from home to get much needed treatment are separated from family and community. The organisers of the Appeal recognised that if patients are sick and far from home, their families and communities too are sick and dysfunctional. Returning dialysis patients to their communities where they can be supported by family and take part in community life ensures a healthier and happier existence for all.
In 2000 the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal was born when Pintupi people in the Western Desert region of Australia painted pictures and held an auction at the Art Gallery of NSW. They raised over 1 million dollars to support patients in town and to set up dialysis on country.
In 2003, this community initiative was incorporated as the Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation. ‘Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku’ means ‘making all our families well’. Today, this non-government organisation continues to raise funds from the sale at auction of Indigenous artworks and generous donations from people and institutions worldwide.
The Western Desert Dialysis Appeal is a registered charity and all donations are tax deductible.
Examples of the exceptional work done by the Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation over the years abound. A dialysis machine was brought to Walungurru (Kintore) in 2004, the very first in remote communities in Central Australia and Western Desert. Since then, Western Desert dialysis patients have been able to spend time on country in Kintore accessing dialysis run by their community. Warlpiri has also been assisted in setting up dialysis services in Yuendumu and Ntaria (Hermannsburg) using royalty money. In 2012, with support from Medicines Australia, the Corporation launched ‘the Purple Truck’ adorned with Western Desert art and containing a mobile dialysis clinic. The touring ‘Purple Truck’ hit the road, bringing medical care to people wherever they live on country.
In addition to the acquisition of medical equipment, the Corporation is also working to reduce the incidence of kidney disease through education. With this community educational effort and investment in medical equipment, the Corporation is bringing a healthier future to remote communities. Each year around fifty Indigenous patients from Western Desert communities are forced to leave their homes for Alice Springs to receive dialysis treatment, a phenomenon the Corporation’s appeal is working to eradicate.