Skip to main content
7 – 14 July 2024
Go to NAIDOC on Instagram

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.

Warlpiri Education and Training Trust

Warlpiri Education and Training Trust

Education Award

Picture: Masie Kitson Napaljarri and Sharon Anderson Nampijinpa from Warlpiri Education and Training Trust.

Warlpiri teachers and traditional owners of the Newmont Tanami gold mine site set up WETT in 2005 to use royalties from the mine to improve education and training outcomes for yapa (Warlpiri people) in the Tanami Desert. For almost 20 years, WETT has supported a range of partnerships and programs that align with Warlpiri education priorities in Yuendumu, Willowra, Nyirrpi and Lajamanu.  So far, WETT has invested more than $53 million to support yapa (Warlpiri people) across its five education program areas: 

  • Children and families supports Warlpiri governance and staff in early childhood services in Yuendumu and delivers a playgroup in Willowra in partnership with World Vision Australia
  • Language and culture in schools supports communities to maintain culture by funding school country visits, Warlpiri language curriculum development and wages for elders to teach in the classroom and on country
  • Youth development delivers out-of-school literacy activities for youth in partnership with World Vision Australia and diversionary youth programs through the Central Australia Youth Link Up Service (CAYLUS)
  • Secondary school support funds interstate excursions for school students and students away at boarding school
  • Learning community centres promote adult learning and literacy for work, life and wellbeing. The centres partner with Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) in Willowra, Nyirrpi and Lajamanu. They serve as classrooms, libraries, internet cafés, cultural archives and service hubs

WETT is a Warlpiri-controlled and governed initiative administered through the Central Land Council (CLC). 

The WETT advisory committee comprising four Warlpiri representatives from the four communities, along with one each from Newmont and the CLC, plays a crucial role in designing, planning, and monitoring WETT-funded initiatives. This committee, which meets at least three times a year, advises the directors of the Kurra Aboriginal Corporation, whose members are traditional owners of the mine site. The Kurra directors, guided by this advice, allocate funding to the WETT programs. 

Many of the founding members of WETT are still on the WETT advisory committee today and are taking innovative measures to support new and younger members to join the committee and grow into these important roles. WETT's commitment to developing strong governance, careful succession planning, and life-long learning was acknowledged when it received the prestigious Indigenous Governance Award in the non-incorporated category in 2018. In more recent years, WETT has developed an innovative monitoring and evaluation approach, the Yitakimaninjaku, warrirninjaku, payirninjaku manu pina-jarrinjaku (YWPP) ‘Tracking and learning’ program, through which local Warlpiri researches monitor WETT’s programs. The YWPP approach prioritises capturing and amplifying the voices of Warlpiri youth.

WETT’s vision is for Warlpiri people to be strong in their knowledge of culture, country and language, to stand up for Warlpiri communities today and be strong role models for generations to come:

“Our language, culture and decisions will be respected. Our voices will be heard. We will have the same opportunities as everyone else. Our children will be confident, knowledgeable, disciplined, healthy and respected. They will have good roles and jobs, as will the generations to come.” 

Welcome to NAIDOC.

We acknowledge all First Peoples of the beautiful lands on which we live and celebrate their enduring knowledge and connections to Country. We honour the wisdom of and pay respect to Elders past and present.