Tennant Creek

Located approximately 500km north of Alice Springs and 1000km south of Darwin, Tennant Creek is the largest township within the Barkly Regional Council district which is the second largest local government area in Australia, covering an area 42 per cent larger than Victoria.

Tennant Creek
Tennant Creek

Tennant Creek

Tennant Creek or Jurnkurakurr is the biggest township in the Barkly Region. The main languages are Warumungu and English

Intergenerational Engagement

​Connecting Youth and Elders in Tennant Creek was seen as something extremely important as the tension between families could sometimes take the best of the future of their children, it was therefore a critical work for WCE to engage all the families to fit with the whole-of-community approach.

Enhancing learning through language

To strengthen two way learning within our current education system. Mainstream education needs culture and language embedded to increase and enhance our children’s learning. We need to start this with early learning 0-3 and go all the way through to primary school, high school and then even on to higher education.

I remember in the late 60’s when I went to school there was an old man who used to camp at the gate in the mornings, he was employed as the school groundsman. In the winter when it was cold he would build a fire and all us kids would gather around to warm up and he would talk to us about how to treat each other and how to act while we were at school. When I look back on that I realise he was teaching us in a culturally respectful way, it had nothing to do with his job description or what he was employed for, he just did that to encourage us Wumpurrarni way. His presence at the school was important to us, we don’t have elders present at the school these days, something is missing Valda Napurrula Shannon

Find out more

Want to know more about the benefits of our approach into finding ways to strengthen two way learning within the education system? Read our recent news report.

Project engagement in the community

This is a great way forward to benefit remote communities. This project means that we will be supported in Indigenous lead research and we can research our own people instead of others researching us. We can start to support our youth Wumpurrarni way. We can give our youth the tools from their own culture and they can use that to strengthen their education and their own sense of self. We can also work with teachers to equip them to effectively work with Aboriginal students to support their culture and Indigenous ways of being, knowing and learning.

Aspirations for Higher Education

Our youth want to step forward and take opportunities within Higher Education but we need to support them to do that. Our youth are asking to be grounded within their culture first and strengthen their cultural knowledge and understanding to go forward with strength into this sometimes daunting higher education space.

Our youth want easier access to University and support along the way.

We need linguists in our community to teach our language in our schools. We need more Aboriginal teachers trained with the view of getting employment at the school.

Language is key

Milaa Milaa ninjiki (to learn)

Ngatarri (to find/discover)

Kayirrmunjuku (to know/understand)

We need people who speak our own language working in our schools to give our kids the best chance of learning properly from the start. We need that from early learning 0-3 years then in Primary School and also in High School and on to University. 
29 November 2017

Team Member Reflection: Terry Moore

Team Member Reflection: Terry Moore

​I joined the team in April 2016, just in time for the team meeting at Tennant Creek, where it was realised that the team needed someone to analyse the data that was being generated across the different communities.

Charles Darwin UniversityAustralian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges & EducationBatchelor InstituteNAILSMANTG

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