The Puuya Approach
The Puuya Foundation was initiated in the remote Cape York Aboriginal community of Lockhart River (650 people). It is an independent, non-profit secular foundation, established to strengthen people’s puuya (life force in Kuuku Ya’u language). This means taking responsibility for developing leadership, improving competence and having the confidence to invest in and work towards ‘closing the gap’ at Lockhart River and beyond.
Since 2008, the Puuya Foundation has been working to empower Indigenous Australians and develop vibrant partnerships and connections with Australians beyond Lockhart River. The Puuya Approach is a dynamic and unique way that supports people to learn and work, build independence and responsibility over time and work together to achieve results. Puuya is a learning exchange where we work from the ‘inside out’ strengthening puuya within Lockhart and bringing the ‘outside in’ through experts and mentors supporting the ideas and coaching individuals to achieve.
Working with Puuya sets up equal, respectful partnerships where building and maintaining relationships are central. Understanding and appreciating the language, culture and way of life in Lockhart River are essential to working together. This approach identifies the positives in the community, builds on the strengths and honours the beliefs and values of the community – the Indigenous perspective. This inspires people to make their own lasting changes and celebrates achievement.