Cool Contributions - Donating an Ice Machine to Beat the Heat - Yaru Water
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Cool Contributions – Donating an Ice Machine to Beat the Heat

The Mutitjulu community sits within the world heritage Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, where summers are harsh, and communities are often faced with increasing bushfires and scorching temperatures above 40 degrees. We all know how important it is to stay cool and hydrated during these extreme periods, but it’s not always that easy when you live in a remote community like this.

Like many, as the cost of living continues to rise, some families within remote communities such as Mutitjulu are struggling to pay for power. This can often mean a lack of cooling and refrigeration, which can create difficulties with preserving perishables and having access to cool fluids during the sweltering heat. This of course can have a big impact on the wellbeing and health of those within these communities.

Towards the end of 2023, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia approached Yaru and The Yaru Foundation – to see if we would like to get involved with the purchase of an ice and clean drinking water system that would help to address some of these challenges. As soon as we investigated the project, we knew this was something that could create simple yet enormous health benefits for the community.

The Yaru Foundation who donated $20,000 towards the project, worked together with the Anangu Communities Foundation – Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia’s charitable trust, and were able to fund the Kooler Ice (and water) Machine.

In order to maintain the machine, a nominal cost is paid for the water and ice. These costs were set in conjunction with the community who were involved in the project from start to finish, and mean that the annual maintenance and ongoing service charges can be covered to ensure the project is sustainable long term. Costs were set based on the remote location, and any excess funds that are raised will go directly back to the community via the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation.

The project was also supported by Team Global Express, who covered delivery, and Fredbuild and Hindmarsh Plumbing, who helped with the installation. 

“Ice Ice Baby”

The new ice and water vending machine that was installed in February 2024 at Mutitjulu has been well-received by members of the community, including Jake Kitson and Terence Rice (pictured) – who’ve been stocking up on bags of ice. The machine even belts out a sample of 80’s hit “Ice Ice Baby” with each purchase, to the delight of community members young and old. What better than a project that brings health benefits and joy at the same time.

Clean water, fresher food, and health benefits

The ice machine provides vital access to portable cool filtered-drinking water, and bags of ice (in recyclable bags), that allow community members to preserve perishable foods, giving them a more reliable food supply. Critically, by providing access to safe clean drinking water, we are also able to reduce the risk of waterborne diseases. The ice machine can also be used for medical purposes, such as first aid for injuries, reducing inflammation, and preserving medicines that require refrigeration.

It’s been a very cool project to be part of and one that has unlocked a multitude of benefits that ripple through a community in every aspect of daily life. There is nothing more rewarding for Yaru and the Yaru Foundation, than partnering with communities to create cooler, safer, and more resilient places to live.

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