About Us


The links between the pro­vi­sion of ade­quate sup­plies of food, and the health of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in remote com­mu­ni­ties in Aus­tralia have been well documented.

The need for a region­al stores pol­i­cy on the APY Lands was first iden­ti­fied in the 1987 Report of Uwankara Palyanku Kany­in­t­jaku – An Envi­ron­men­tal and Pub­lic Health Review and was rec­om­mend­ed again in the Mai Wiru Nutri­tion Inter­ven­tion at Pukat­ja in the ear­ly 1990’s.

In 1988 a cost of liv­ing study com­mis­sioned by Nganam­pa Health Coun­cil, showed that many Anan­gu (Abo­rig­i­nal) fam­i­lies were with­out any food for up to three days per week, sur­viv­ing on sug­ary tea and damper because they could not afford to buy suf­fi­cient food owing to income lev­els and sys­temic fail­ures on the AY Lands.

The Mai Wiru Region­al Stores Pol­i­cy was devel­oped in 20002001 as a par­tic­i­pa­to­ry plan­ning project car­ried out by Nganam­pa Health Coun­cil and Ngaany­at­jar­ra Pitat­jan­t­jara Yankun­yt­jatara Women’s Coun­cil, in con­junc­tion with APY, and all Abo­rig­i­nal Com­mu­ni­ties on the APY Lands. The Pol­i­cy was signed off by all com­mu­ni­ty coun­cils and region­al organisation’s in 2003.

This is the first Indige­nous Pol­i­cy of its kind deal­ing in food secu­ri­ty. Mai Wiru won a nation­al Heart Foun­da­tion award in 2008.

Through con­sul­ta­tion, mon­i­tor­ing and new ini­tia­tives, includ­ing offer­ing healthy alter­na­tives, Mai Wiru has been instru­men­tal in broach­ing the ongo­ing issue of Food Secu­ri­ty on the APY Lands. There has been a sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment in food secu­ri­ty, the range and qual­i­ty of fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles, and healthy alter­na­tives in com­mu­ni­ty stores, since 2003. How­ev­er, there is still much work to be done to ensure that Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple on the APY Lands and in remote com­mu­ni­ties are able to access healthy afford­able food in their local store every day.

In 2018 the Board appoint­ed a new Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer (CEO), instruct­ing him to assess and revi­talise the oper­a­tions of the organ­i­sa­tion, and ensure it is in a posi­tion where it is able to car­ry out its man­date while remain­ing finan­cial­ly viable. Mai Wiru is com­mit­ted to best busi­ness prac­tice sys­tems, and has sophis­ti­cat­ed process­es in place designed to oper­ate effec­tive­ly in remote areas.

Our Jour­ney

Watch below to see where we came from and where we are heading.