The vision of a strong group of Jawoyn women saw the Banatjarl Strongbala Wimun Grup form in 2003 to promote wellbeing, healing and sharing for women and families.
The group aims to give Aboriginal women in the Katherine and Arnhem region a voice. The women come together to share culture where older custodians share valuable knowledge and skills with one another and reconnect younger people with country.
Banatjarl is a homelands area of great cultural significance to Jawoyn women. It was a natural choice that this place, also known as King Valley, became the group’s home. Located about 80km south-east of Katherine, it’s also a central location for the women who live in the Katherine and Arnhem communities. A culture and healing centre has been established at the Banatjarl homelands to provide a place to meet and to hold culture and healing camps.
In 2012, the women established a bush medicine and tucker garden to bring together many traditional plants in one place, for harvesting for food and medicine and to teach about the importance of plants for food and healing. It wasn’t long before they developed bush medicine balms, which they decided to sell. They now harvest, process and distribute three bush medicine products.
The group also has a focus on language and have established the Tijimbat Picinini Kaltja program, which focuses on teaching language and culture at Barunga School.