Our Guiding Principles describe the things that are of greatest importance to Marninwarntikura when we approach our work. They inform decisions we make about the way we design and provide our services.
Understanding these Guiding Principles enables everyone working at Marninwarntikura to take leadership in the work that we do right across our organisation and the Fitzroy Valley communities.
1. We Value Marninwarntikura's History
Local Indigenous women took leadership to improve the well-being of women and their families by establishing the original Marninwarntikura Women's Group in 1991. Shortly after, the Shelter opened in 1995 and the Women's Resource Centre opened in 2003.
The vision of the women who established the Women's Group all those years ago continues to inspire the current Board and staff of Marninwarntikura. We are governed and managed by strong Indigenous leaders who set the strategy and context of our work.
2. We Deeply Respect The Indigenous Peoples and Cultures of the Fitzroy Valley
The Fitzroy Valley is a culturally complex area which includes the Bunuba, Nyikina, Gooniyandi, Walmajarri and Wangkajunga language speakers. The Indigenous peoples of the Fitzroy Valley continue to live rich and contemporary lives which are connected to their traditional lands and culture. It is this connection which continues to form the Valley's strong sense of community, family and inter-generational connectedness.
The lived experience of Indigenous peoples living in the Fitzroy Valley is deep and broad. Inter-generational and early life traumas have been the experience of many since the 1880's when the Kimberley was first colonised. Yet despite this, Indigenous peoples living throughout the Fitzroy Valley continue to live and be connected to their cultures, languages and lands, as has been the case for many tens of thousands of years. This continuous connection is a deep source of pride, strength and resilience. Our recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples to the full enjoyment of all human rights as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples underpins all of the work that we do.
3. We Have an Enabling and Empowerment Focus
We approach all of our work from a strengths based perspective. We know that the women and families of the Fitzroy Valley have remarkable stories, along with an enormous breadth and depth of knowledge and resilience. We work together with women and families across the Valley. We listen to and learn from them, rather than delivering services and programmes to them.
When we develop new services we work closely with community members to embed cultural and local approaches in the way we do our work. Our programmes and activities are community driven, responsive and flexible so that we can meet the needs of women and their families living in the 40 different communities across the Valley.
Advocacy is an important part of our role. We advocate with and for the individual needs of women and their families through programmes such as the Shelter and the Family Violence Prevention Legal Unit. A policy advocacy focus also informs our work and we take rights based leadership locally, nationally and internationally to influence better outcomes for women and their families, particularly in the area of FASD.
4. We Continue to Support the Alcohol Restrictions and Strive to Make FASD History Across the Valley
The communities of the Fitzroy Valley have taken the initiative to overcome FASD and early life trauma by initiating alcohol restrictions and working to implement the Marulu Strategy. Marninwarntikura's Board and senior executive took significant leadership to support the introduction of these changes. Marninwarntikura continues to recognise the importance of the alcohol restrictions and the effort now underway in relation to FASD prevention, diagnosis and support.
Right across Marninwarntikura we are working to advocate for and secure the rights of women and children to be free from harm, including from the effects of alcohol, and to have equal opportunity and access to education and employment throughout their lives.
5. We Work in a New Way: Bringing Two Ways Together
Marninwarntikura brings together Indigenous ways of knowing and doing with the knowledge and systems of contemporary Australian work practice. This means that we are creating new and flexible ways of working. We are building an organisational culture that integrates and reflects the diversity of knowledge and approaches which serve us best and respects the society we operate with.
Our workplace brings together local Indigenous people from across the Valley with non-Aboriginal people from many different parts of Australia and beyond. We are committed to working together in a way that creates integrated and new approaches to work which best reflect the needs of each other and the women and families we work with.
6. We are Ethical and Act with Integrity in Everything That We Do
Marninwarntikura operates in a way that is open, transparent and accountable to our Board and the Fitzroy Valley communities. We seek to provide services and support to women and their families who come from the different family groups and communities of the Fitzroy Valley, irrespective of contemporary and historical challenges.
We take considered and ethical decisions which are driven by our Guiding Principles and Core Values. We place a high value on trust, respect and honesty.