Raising Our Babies as First Language
Indigenous Speakers Again
This workshop will provide a hands-on-training on how to build adult and early-childhood immersion programs, focussing first on working with Elders to develop adult fluent speakers through a Master-Apprentice Program, then empowering young parents to raise their babies as first language speakers within a Language Nest. We will share and practise techniques to help cut English out, to learn and teach within your Indigenous language. We will share from our experience working with Elders, bringing the community together, building on our collective strength, gaining funding and learning child-rearing language at the Pertame School. When our babies say their first words once again in their native tongue, just as their ancestors once did, we know the future of our languages is secure.
Leeanne Swan has been learning Pertame as an apprentice for three years. She has over 10 year experience working in Early Childhood Centres with Indigenous families. She has a Cert III in Community Services - Children's Services, a Cert III in Natural Resource Management and a Cert IIII in Education and Training. She worked for 10 years as a facilitator for the parenting program at the Kwatja Etatha Playgroup from the Lutheran Community Care. She also started and ran a Families Learning Together Program at the Play Group, an in-house parenting support program.
Shania Armstrong has been learning Pertame as an apprentice for four years. Shania is currently a representative on the UN International Decade of Indigenous Languages Directions Group, advising the Federal government on policy around the decade. She has a Certificate II and III in Arrernte Applied Languages, graduating the with the highest score in the NT. She was awarded the Karmi Sceney Aboriginal Excellence and Leadership award, won the 2021 Alice Springs NAIDOC Youth of Year & the Girls Academy Inspirational Leader award. Shania also has a Cert IIII in Education and Training
Samantha Armstrong is already fluent in her mother's language, Pitjantjatjara and has been learning Pertame as an apprentice for two years. Samantha has a Certificate II in Emergency First Response & a Certificate III & IV in Aboriginal Primary Health. She graduated from the Preparation for Tertiary Success (PTS) and received a Diploma of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and is currently studying a Bachelor of Applied Social Sciences. Samantha is a representative on the Closing the Gap Policy Partnership, advising the Government on language.
Vanessa Farrelly is a full-time Administration Officer for the Pertame School. Vanessa has 5 years experience coordinating the Pertame School, after training in language immersion from the Global Indigenous Language Caucus in New York. She received the 2019 College of Indigenous Futures Student Award in recognition of outstanding academic performance within her Undergraduate degree in Applied Social Science. She also received the Beryl Price and Lowitja Institute post graduate award, and was a 2021 AMP Changemaker.
Doreen Abbott grew up speaking Pertame at Idracowra Station, travelling into Alice Springs for schooling at Hartley Street School. She learned English when she was 8 years old. She worked as a project officer, in night patrol and as a warden in Aboriginal organisations for 10 years. She also worked as an Aboriginal Health Worker in Alice Springs and Wallace Rockhole. Doreen has been working as an Elder teacher with the Pertame School for two years.
Kathleen Bradshaw grew up on Henbury Station, speaking Pertame as her first language. She has over 30 years' experience teaching children and adults in Western Australia. She also taught English while living in Taiwan. She worked as an English language teacher, an Aboriginal Education Officer and became a qualified teacher in 2008. Kathleen uses her language and education skills to pass her Pertame onto the next generations.