Funding challenges

Anangu view Ara Irititja as an on-going essential project. Regrettably funding has never adequately addressed that view and long-term sustainability has been an issue of very great concern. In 2007, the South Australian State Government went some way to help address this. For the first time in the history of the project, a four year funding program was approved. This started by providing a full-time salaried position for Ara Irititja through the SA Museum which later became ongoing.

Unfortunately the funding through the SA Museum came to an end in 2020 and it was decided that the best option for the ongoing sustainability of the project was to become part of Anangu Pitjatjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY). After many months of legal negotiations this was achieved, thereby creating three permanent part-time positions.

Funding sources

In the past, Ara Irititja was supported financially by a wide range of funding agencies and organisations. Since the project’s commencement in 1994, grant funds and donations were received from the following:

APY Land Council, Telstra Foundation, Visions of Australia, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, ATSIC, National Library of Australia (Community Heritage Grants), Dept of Communications Information Technology and the Arts, Indigenous Coordination Centre, Centenary of Federation, Networking the Nation, Green Hills Foundation, Spirit of the Land Foundation, Australia Foundation for Culture and the Humanities, Australian Indigenous Cultural Network, Mr Allan Vial, Mrs Jean Pound, Loreto Federation 2007, Yaitya Warra Wodli Language Centre, Anangu Education Services, SA Dept of Premier and Cabinet, Arts SA, SA Department of Education and Children’s Services, SA Department of Further Education Employment Science and Training, University of Melbourne, University of South Australia’s Anangu Tertiary Education Program (AnTEP).

The project’s participating schools and community organisations continue to make an annual financial contribution to help with field work and regular data upgrades and in 2014 the Pitjantjatjara Council was a regular financial supporter of the Project. This changed in 2017 when Ara Irititja became incorporated in its own right – Ara Irititja Aboriginal Corporation (AIAC). In 2020 Ara Irititja formally come under the umbrella of Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) to secure its ongoing sustainability.