Oodnadatta Aboriginal Housing Society (OAHS) was founded in 1973 by our old people who have passed on now. Despite being largely illiterate and having never been to school, they managed to establish and run a community organisation. They advocated on our behalf for housing, for Aboriginal rights and heritage and taught us what we needed to know about Lore, Culture, Language and Family Structure. They were also given the ultimatum that the next generation had to attend school to get an education.
When the Railways closed in 1980, we were to move either to Marla or Coober Pedy. The old people stood their ground and said we are not going anywhere, this is our home and we are staying.
OAHS bought the pub in 1980, the General Store in 1984, and majority of the infrastructure at Oodnadatta was either bought or handed over to the OAHS. This includes the Railway Station, which is now the Railway and Tjurkupa Museum.
In the 1990’s OAHS’s name changed to the present day Dunjiba, which means Townshipper.
Dunjiba Community Council operates under a constitution. Members of the organisation are local Aboriginal people who live or have lived in Oodnadatta. Some people have been connected to this area through their families for thousands of years. Some people are members of the stolen generations. Together they live here, work here and are proud to call Oodnadatta their home..
The members of the organisation each year at the AGM elect the Community Council. Current council members are:
Maria Stewart: Chairperson
Oodnadatta will be a great place to live and visit. Our culture will be strong, our people will be healthy and safe, there will be jobs for everyone and our businesses will be sustainable.
Supporting the economic and social well-being of the Aboriginal people visiting and living in Dunjiba with strong, transparent governance:
• We will advocate for the provision of high quality, affordable services and infrastructure for our people.
• We will deliver high quality support services where it is not able to be effectively delivered by external service providers.
• We will acquire property and maintain it for the good of the community.
• We will establish and run businesses for the creation of employment opportunities
In carrying out its role the Dunjiba Community Council highly values the following:
Respect for culture, land, families and each other
Leadership and setting direction for everyone to follow
Caring for each other, encouraging each other to be our best and supporting each other
Transparency in the spending of money, being responsible and accountable
Being honest with each other, being fair