‘It’s all about djamarrkuli – how we grow up our kids’

Something really special is happening in Nhulunbuy next week. The We Grow Them Up Learning Forum isn’t new, but it is a fabulous event that brings together community leaders, experts and partners to design early intervention child and family services that work in both Yolngu and Balanda worlds.

If you’ve heard the terms ‘place based’, ‘community led’ or ‘culturally meaningful’ but wondered how these concepts are applied in the real world, wonder no more, because the people attending the forum next week are experts at putting those words into action.

“This forum is unique in so many ways” said Camilla Krauze, Initiatives Manager, East Arnhem Children’s Service. “Instead of competing with other early childhood learning services in the region, we come together to be stronger. That process opens up opportunities to network, learn from each other and maximise our wins”.

Children are the future

Young children in East Arnhem Land have a challenge ahead of them. There is pressure to know, respect and follow culture. There is also pressure to go to school and have a career. Managing these pressures, which at times compete, sits at the core of the work done in the We Grow Them Up forum as part of the East Arnhem Communities for Children initiative.

“We have to help one another, support each other and be strong. Share our knowledge in the cultural side of our Yolngu learning and Balanda learning so we can share that education with one another” said James Gondarra from Galinwin’ku.

Expecting another successful forum

We Grow them Up has been running for 12 years, and has helped to develop an understanding and expectation of how to teach young children in a way that best suits the world they live in.

We’re looking forward to two days of presentations from Phoenix Support, East Arnhem Regional Council, Story Telling in Remote Locations – Victoria University, Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation, Core of Life, Australian Research Council, HIPPY Yurrwi and Darwin North, Ngukurr Freshwater Playgroup, Numbulwar Saltwater Playgroup with Family as First Teachers, Bush Fit Mob, Yulgul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation, NAPCAN and Playgroup NT.