Land Rights News Central Australia: Land Rights News (September 2010)
Nyirrpi Learning Centre Coordinator Fiona Gibson (far right) conducts the opening ceremony at Nyirrpi
Warlpiri pay for their own Learning Centre
Nyirrpi woman, Learning Centre worker and Warlpiri Education and Training Trust (WETT ) committee member FM told the 100 or so guests at the opening in August this year that it was an exciting day.
“This is using Yapa money for the four Warlpiri communities to give education to our kids. It’s really good and we’re really proud”
The students age’s range between 16 and late 80.
The Centre is paid for by Aboriginal people using royalty monies from mining and run by Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education.
The Kurra Aboriginal Corporation, as the trustee for (WETT), has contributed $290,000 to run the Learning Centre as a 12-month pilot program in partnership with Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE).
The CLC administers WETT on behalf of Kurra.
CLC Director David Ross says the Nyirrpi Learning Centre will provide education and training courses, computers to access the internet, books in English and Warlpiri and a place to teach, collect and store Warlpiri cultural information. It will also help people who have completed training find local jobs.
“The Nyirrpi Learning Centre will provide all community members with a range of learning options,” Mr Ross said.
“Adult education is extremely important and resources to support these sorts of programs are thin on the ground. Adult education can get overlooked in the emphasis on early years education but it is an essential part of the overall education picture.
Already WETT has quite a few projects running in these communities – such as the Early Childhood Care and Development program in partnership with World Vision Australia in the four Warlpiri communities.
The Youth and Media program also operates across the region providing youth diversionary programs and media training in partnership with Mt Theo.
WETT also supports secondary students with incentives to attend school and provides funding for country visits and elder participation in Warlpiri community schools.
“I congratulate the Warlpiri on these wise investment decisions which provide long term benefits for everybody,” Mr Ross said.