Country near Nyapari © Photography Simon Dent

Mutuka project

The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (“APY Lands”) cover a vast area. The distance east to west is approximately 520km. Constant movement and transport of goods and people is required. The Anangu believe that the driving function can be performed by Anangu drivers, with a significant boost to Anangu employment. The Mutuka project has this ambition as its aim.

“Mutuka” is Pitjantjatjara for motor car and the project seeks to train young Anangu to obtain drivers licences and employment as drivers. The training will be conducted by instructors able to provide nationally recognised certification. That training will include vehicle care, basic maintenance and will offer the chance to hold licences of various types. Mutuka will also establish a small commercial enterprise to enable Anangu on graduation to obtain initial employment and experience before seeking employment in the transport industry generally. That employ may exist in mining, in station work, in the various opportunities within the APY Lands or elsewhere for qualified drivers. Such a capacity has enormous importance in an area with no private or public transport facilities.

This project has been coordinated with both the Department of Transport (DPTI) and the new APY Trade Training Centre at Umuwa. The Centre is managed by DECD in partnership with the nine schools on the APY Lands, Housing (SA), the Construction Industry Training Board, Charles Darwin University, the Australian Industry Group and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Commonwealth).