2 – 9 July 2023
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Christobel Swan

Christobel Swan

2021
Female Elder of the Year

Christobel Swan is a proud Pertame, Southern Arrernte woman from Central Australia.

As one of the last few remaining fluent speakers of her language, she has been working her entire life to fight for Aboriginal language rights, and gift her language to the next generations. She was part of the first team of Aboriginal Interpreters in Australia, working for 30 years to provide vital information to Indigenous people in their first language. She is also the founder of the Pertame School, a community-run language revival program running on-country language camps, school classes, holiday programs, adult classes and a Master-Apprentice Program to create the next generation of fluent Pertame speakers.

Christobel is a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, always open to help family or friends in need. Nwerna Pertama relha mapa nema. Nwerna nhanhala kweta nema. Nwernaka ngetya itya yerrema. We are Pertame people. We have always been here. Our language will never finish.