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About Ngurra Kujungka

Ngurra Kujungka Inc is the Western Desert’s first community driven regional sport and recreation organisation, awarded for tailored programs delivered to improve health, sport, recreation and employment outcomes for the people of the Western Desert.

Ngurra Kujungka
Martu Council Members

Ngurra Kujungka is a not for profit, incorporated body directed by a board of Martu men and women members representing each community of the Western Desert in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia. The Council meets regularly to oversee the development of the organisation, voting on key decisions determining the programs and direction of Ngurra Kujungka.

The sport and recreation programs deliver many benefits to the Martu people throughout their communities, with health outcomes a key focus. A range of programs have been developed to increase physical activity, provide sporting career pathways, educational benefits and community engagement.

Strong support from Western Desert communities and stakeholders continues to ensure the evolution of remarkably successful initiatives such as the Martu School Holiday Program and Western Desert football and softball leagues. The Martu Youth Festival brings together families from the most remote desert regions during a week long celebration of music, culture and sport, with broad community engagement and the involvement of elite sporting organisations seeking talented players for development.

Programs have broadened significantly, developing in a relatively short time to incorporate children’s sport with health, music, art and lifestyle activities. New, ongoing stakeholder and partnership relationships are constantly sought and forged to continually stimulate the activities within the programs. Ngurra Kujungka’s range of sport and recreation
related initiatives provides enormous potential for the Martu people through general health benefits, specific training,
employment, skills development, and exposure to unique sporting opportunities.

Ngurra Kujungka is an effective, consultative, collaborative, adaptable, resourceful organisation committed to achieving its Vision: ‘A healthier, happier, safer, community driven, economically independent future for the people of the
Western Desert’.

We believe all Martu can embrace who they are,
and can define their own future.

Our Vision

A healthier, happier, safer, community-driven, economically independent future for the people of the Western Desert.

‘Palya, pukurlpa, ngampurrpa, ngurralu katiku, walyjalu kurrurnpa martukujanampa

Our Mission

Ngurra Kujungka will utilise sport, art, music and culture as vehicles to drive improvements in health, training, employment, education and community
development outcomes for the people of the

Western Desert.

Ngurra kujungkalu palyalku sportpa, artpa, musicpa, kamu jukurrpa mutukayuru jipalkuya ngapi healthpa, trainingpa, warrkamu, educationpa, ngurra, palyalku, pakalku manku, palyarrikujanampa martuka pirrajanuku’


Our Philosophy

The success of Ngurra Kujungka can be attributed to its deeply rooted foundations in community engagement and collaboration. Community driven development recognises lived experience, knowledge and expertise in local environments, populations and circumstances.

Community driven engagement became firmly established in the Western Desert in 2008, when experienced locals and community development specialists collaborated to identify pathways for Martu people to meaningfully engage in the design of future

By acknowledging and exploring the value of community Ngurra Kujungka embodies a committed engagement with the people of the Western Desert. This commitment and community ownership ensures greater confidence by external agencies andpotential partners, and a range of benefits for all stakeholders.

Ngurra Kujungka has established strong foundations to ensure the continuing evolution and development of an effective, sustainable sport and recreation program to provide broad health benefits and development opportunities for the communities it serves.


Many strong, unique and ongoing partnerships have been forged, generating a range of valuable opportunities for the Martu people, harnessing an intense level of community driven engagement and investment. Key stakeholders extend to local, state and federal government departments, charitable organisations, industry partners, sporting and other organisations.

Ngurra Kujungka is achieving measurable success in the development, growth and management of Martu sport and recreation, and continually reviewing the objectives of increased participation and opportunities to improve health, education, training, employment and community development outcomes for the people of the Western Desert.


Our People

Mike McMonigal - Program Manager


As Program Manager, Mike McMonigal draws upon a significant career in sport management and liaison. Previously Mike was the High Performance Manager of Surfing WA for many years, qualifying as a Level 2 High Performance Coach and Level 1 Judge before creating a high performance program for WA’s best junior competition surfers. Mike collaborated with various key stakeholders including Surfing Australia, sports scientists, professional surfers, elite coaches and parents to provide the best training opportunities for these talented athletes through professional national and international pathways.

Seeking a fresh challenge Mike found one in the vastly different landscape of the Western Desert communities, adapting his skills to create links and pathway opportunities for Martu boys and girls living in one of the most remote desert locations in the world. As Program Manager, Mike oversees program development and daily operations, working closely with the Martu Council of Ngurra Kujungka – the Western Deserts first community driven regional sport and recreation organisation. Mike’s role is to ensure strategic objectives are met, including program direction, financial management, sponsorship and key stakeholder relationships.

The sport and recreation programs continue to deliver many benefits to the Martu people throughout their communities. Health outcomes remain a key focus. Important programs have been created and developed to increase physical activity, provide sporting career pathways, educational benefits,sustainable employment, and community engagement.

Mike regards the Martu School Holiday Program as a particular Ngurra Kujungka highlight. These programs are consistently commended by WA Police, school principals and community members for engagement of Martu girls and boys in productive and enjoyable activities that have led to increased participation in physical and emotional health, social experiences, sport, and the development of new skills. This program provides important opportunities for Ngurra Kujungka to collaborate with a variety of regional and community stakeholders and to develop partnerships and relationships.

The School Holiday Program links into other unique programs such as opportunities for talent identification and skills development with state sporting associations and elite sport organisations. The program continues to evolve, now offering a greater range of sports and a variety of activities including nutrition, cooking, health and hygiene, arts, crafts, educational activities, music, cultural experiences
and more.

Mike’s future focus is to maintain momentum in the engagement of Martu communities, and the ongoing development of sustainable programs to bring opportunity to the people of the Western Desert.

Sara Mohamed  - Female Indigenous Sports Officer


Sara joins us after a decade-long career as a Physical Education Specialist.


After completing a degree in Exercise Science and Rehabilitation, she found her calling in education. She has worked with students in remote and city settings, in mainstream and special education, in places from Melbourne to the Pilbara and Perth.


Sara has worked with students in kindergarten through to Year 12, with a passion and focus for physical literacy in the primary school years. Sara has participated in many competitive sports throughout her life including Gymnastics, Tennis, Netball, Cheerleading, Australian Rules Football and, most recently, Gaelic Football.

She has represented Australia at international Cheerleading competitions, including the Cheerleading World Championships in Florida, USA. Showing a keen interest for Football throughout her life, she began playing at

Darebin Women’s Football Club in Victoria in 2017, and then Subiaco Football Club in Western Australia.

Sara is a qualified Primary School Teacher, Junior Development Tennis Coach, AustSwim Teacher and is always looking

at ways to upskill and learn. She is most excited about her new role at Ngurra Kujungka.

“I feel so lucky to find a role that combines my loves of movement, the Pilbara and connection with community. I have previously volunteered with Ngurra Kujungka during the Martu Youth Festival and loved my time watching, learning, listening and assisting in such an amazing feat of communities and sponsors working together to provide talent

pathways and play opportunities to community members. I look forward to learning more about culture, language

and country in the communities involved with NK.”

Hamish Coulton - Male Indigenous Sports Officer

Hamish Coulton .jpg

Hamish Coulton has been working in the Pilbara with youth for 2 years working alongside and teaming up with Ngurra Kujungka at stages and has always admired the work done making the decision to join the team a super easy one. Hamish is passionate about providing Martu people with as many opportunities as possible and believes education and sport are two key areas that open up a whole world of potential for the super bright Western Desert Youth. 

Hamish grew up in Victoria playing any sport he could and participated in Footy, Athletics, Swimming, Basketball and gave his all during school to be the best student he could be while chasing his dream of playing AFL playing for Western Jets in the TAC Cup

While still at school Hamish worked as a swimming instructor at his local pool and once finished school worked as a Steel Fabricator having a diverse background to promote the many different futures available for the youth.


Hamish spent 6 months in Darwin playing footy for the Southern Districts and then 6 months in Perth playing footy for North Beach and volunteering with the Clontarf foundation which led to his employment at Newman Clontarf spending almost 2 years in Newman working for both Clontarf and West Coast Eagles.


Our History

Between the 1970s and 2000s opportunities for sport and recreation remained limited in the remote Western Desert region of WA. Despite a strong desire for inclusion by Martu men, women and children, sporting and recreation opportunities were sporadic, with little coordination and direction.

Any sporting activities generally focused on Martu men, with very limited options available to Martu women and children. Few opportunities arose for Martu people to express their views and engage in the design of sport and recreation programs for their own communities. Many talented and enthusiastic Martu people were unable to learn, train, play, compete or participate in a meaningful way.

A unique partnership was established in 2008 between Newcrest Mining Limited and the State Government's Department of Sport and Recreation to address this sport and recreation deficit in the Western Desert.

The partnership established a base of operations at Telfer mine site, selected for its proximity and accessibility to Western Desert communities. The position of an Indigenous Sports Development Officer was created and funded by this unique collaboration between industry and state government.

Objectives were identified:

  • To develop and provide opportunities to meet the desire of the Martu people to participate in sport and recreation:

  • To understand the wishes and capacity of Western Desert communities;

  • To seek and collaborate with suitable stakeholders to create and manage an effective, sustainable sport and recreation program tailored for the people of the Western Desert.

Outcomes were targeted:

  • To provide opportunities for broad health benefits and

  • community development specifically for the people of the Western Desert to encompass new options for employment, recreation, and sport.

In 2009 Martu community members, key internal stakeholders such as school principals and community
coordinators, key external stakeholders including State Government services together with community
organisations, and community development and sport and recreation specialists were consulted to ascertain
direct benefits to Western Desert communities and to identify pathways to meet the target outcomes.

Following consultation it was agreed that a regional program, if managed to minimise community disruption and stakeholder overload, had the potential to unlock major improvements in health, training, employment, education, community and social outcomes.

It was agreed that, with the direction and support of key stakeholders, a Martu Council comprising
representatives from each Martu community be established to lead the development of the program.
It was recommended that a schedule of events be prepared to provide forward notice for stakeholders, and that communication between the Martu Council and Western Desert stakeholders remain consistent and comprehensive.

Empower our communities

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