Dharriwaa Elders Group members incorporate in March 2005, and at 2013 AGM
Dharriwaa Elders Group (DEG) was born 20 November 2000 after Elders had worked together on projects since 1998. The Group took its name from one of its sacred sites - Narran Lakes - Dharriwaa (common meeting place) and its full members are Aboriginal people over 60 who live in Walgett. The DEG was auspiced by the Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service until 1 July 2005, when it became autonomous. The charitable organisation is an incorporated Association under the NSW Act and has deductible gift recipient status from the Australian Tax Office.
Projects of the Group aim to support Aboriginal Elders to resume leadership roles in the community, keeping active and healthy; promote local Aboriginal cultural knowledge and identity; and develop the Walgett Aboriginal community.

Dharriwaa Elders Group is a proud and active member of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Arts Association.

The Dharriwaa Elders Group (“DEG”) is an Aboriginal cultural organisation which works to support Elders wellbeing, protect Aboriginal cultural heritage and knowledge and promote Aboriginal cultural values. The organisation also works for community development and promoting relationships between Aboriginal Elders and other generations of the Walgett Aboriginal community.

In furthering its cultural protection and promotion work DEG offers cultural maintenance activities for its members, supports its members’ advocacy to governments and landholders and (depending on funding) offers cultural education eg cultural exhibitions, publications, schools and community education activities. When opportunities have arisen, DEG has contributed product for Walgett’s tourism industry including the scarred tree enclosure at the Barwon Inn which we are in the process of restoring, the walking tracks along the Namoi River at Walgett with its series of 16 interpretive signs, exhibitions at the DEG Elders Centre 47 Fox St and Euragai Goondi, and Walgett’s first arts and crafts shop located now at 47 Fox St. This shop is stocked with items that are purchased according to DEG’s purchasing policy that aims to sell items of local cultural expression.

DEG’s cultural collection is recognised as nationally significant and contains knowledge that DEG strives to share through cultural engagement and education activities for the Walgett Aboriginal community first. These activities are all dependent on capacity and therefore funding-dependent. Funding opportunities are rare.

Upcoming cultural education projects in 2021 (Covid permitting) include a workshop for young people with partner Australian Film TV and Radio school which will tell the story of the Narran Lakes in audio, and our next exhibition project which will engage and teach a small group of Walgett young people to produce a digital exhibition telling the unknown story of a group of Walgett Aboriginal men who supported the WW2 effort in Walgett. An ongoing project is the publication of our quarterly magazine Guwaalay. We are also preparing for a substantial Youth and Elders camp to be conducted in the 2021 Spring, based on the successful 6 x Youth and Elders Camps DEG conducted from 1999 – 2004.

The DEG's partnership with UNSW Sydney - Yuwaya Ngarrali (vision) supports many of the DEG's objectives - particularly community development objectives. Currently our focus is on our Action Plan for Children and Young People.

Current Financial Supporters

DEG and the University of NSW seek financial support together from philanthropic and government sectors, for a range of projects undertaken by the partnership of Yuwaya Ngarra-li. The Elders' social support and associated transport activities of the DEG are supported by the Commonwealth of Australia through the Department of Health Commonwealth Home Support Programme. In 2021 DEG has received support from the NSW Government for its community development work from the Social Sector Transformation Fund and the EPA's Litter Reduction program, and for its cultural knowledge work from the M&G NSW Let's Get Digital Program.  Legal services are gratefully received from Gilbert + Tobin and NSW Environmental Defenders Office. The Dharriwaa Elders Group gratefully acknowledges the support of Indigenous Community Volunteers and donors.

The Dharriwaa Elders Group relies heavily on volunteers and goodwill.