Pina Pina Jarrinjaky LLN Case Study

Adult Literacy and Social-Cultural Learning at Pina Pina Jarrinjaku (Yuendumu learning centre) - A case study prepared by Ros Bauer, Walpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation for WCE as part as its work on Aboriginal adult English LLN

About this case study

WCE research has shown that at this time the majority of the adult Aboriginal population are missing out on any form of assistance with English LLN – particularly those who are at the lower measures of the scale – and most people – especially from remote areas, are at that end of the scale. Among the innovative strategies to emerge in the past decades internationally, is ‘family learning’ which stands out as a transformative approach that works across generations and between institutions. Family learning is breaking down barriers between home, school and community. Research evidence supports a ‘whole family’ approach to literacy and other educational challenges that disadvantaged families and communities face. The only COAG indicator for adult literacy in Australia focuses on employment and jobs – a good thing, but many people are missing out given that a) there is no (or minimal) assistance for people at the lower end of the LLN scale, b) there are so many people are at the lower end of the LLN scale c) so few remote employment opportunities and d) so many people not in the labour force) very few adult learning centres in communities.

Solutions are not simple and sustained effort of multiple players is required over time – a wide ranging commitment to Aboriginal-led policy and the implementation of diverse and appropriate models informed by LLN specialists and linked to related policy initiatives. One model which has emerged and is supported at local level is the community/family learning centre model.

This report strongly suggests that the local learning centre is key to improvement, to the embedding of literacy and the maintenance of any successes.


Recommendation 1:

Any English LLN delivery for adults should take into account socio-cultural learning practices, including new and old ways of learning, and the use of digital technologies.

Recommendation 2:

A family/community capacity building approach is seen as the most beneficial in order to capitalise on the existing skills and competencies of Warlpiri adults, so that they are more able to mentor and support others in community.

Recommendation 3:

Any model should include a component for non-Indigenous workers to ensure that their communication is in plain English and that they have some skills in appropriately supporting the needs of local learners.

Recommendation 4:

A bi-partisan approach is required, whereby government recognises and adds value to the financial commitment that the Warlpiri Education Training Trust (WETT) has made in the past ten years, and has committed to in future years. WYDAC is unwavering in its commitment to adult LLN in remote Northern Territory, and issetting a strong precedent for culturally responsive and respectful ways of supporting communities to participate fully (through LLN) at the local, national and global level.

What you will find in this case study

The four LLN program delivery areas - page 7-8

Learning literacy: a socio-cultural model - page 9-12

Approaches to learning at Pina Pina Jarrinjaku - page 13-18

Lessons learnt: what we now know - page 20

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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