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Learn about Children's Ground learning on Country with Nanette Sharpe

Werte (hello), 


I’m Nanette Sharpe. I am a mother and an Early Years Support Worker at Ampe-Kenhe Ahelhe (Children’s Ground Central Australia). Children’s Ground employs lots of young people like me.

At Children’s Ground, I come every week to teach the kids. I decided to work here so that I can teach my son, Mason. I want to teach him to be like me. I’m a mother who works now! Nanette Sharpe

Every week, I sit down to read stories, help the children make art and take the kids for walks on Country. Every Friday, we do bush trips. We go west, south, north or east of Mparntwe (Alice Springs). 


When we go on bush trips, I teach the kids about their culture. We tell stories about the Country and we talk to the spirits. Sometimes our Elders, like my nan Dulcie, do baby smoking down by the creek. Babies do bush smoking to help them be happy and strong.


My son, Mason, will be healthier and stronger because of Children’s Ground. Nanette

When he grows up, I want Mason to work here too. He can come out on the bush trips, pack the lunches and drive the bus like I do when he’s older.


When we last did a bush trip, we went looking for honey ants. I had to look for the main home, where the ants come out of. I found it and I started to dig. All the kids were watching me, so they were learning too. These children will be the next ones to dig for honey ants. Just like I learned from my nan when I was little.


It’s important for our young ones to learn from Elders as well from their parents and teachers. Parents can’t teach everything that Elders can. Elders tell stories about their Country, what food to collect, and their skin names. They show the children where to go looking for bush medicine and bush tucker, like witchetty grubs and bush onions.

My nan Dulcie works here too. She has lots of family working and learning at Ampe-Kenhe Ahelhe (Central Australia Children’s Ground). Her daughter works here with her little ones. Many of her grandchildren are learning here. Dulcie is teaching them!


School is different from Children’s Ground. At mainstream schools, kids only learn English. Some kids don’t go to school because they don’t like it. Others don’t go because it’s difficult for parents to support them. The children stay at home, and they’re bored there. It’s sad for them.


When the kids get to Children’s Ground, they’re happy. They can learn more and be brainy! The parents can be the ones teaching their kids too. They learn First Language as well as English. When their parents talk in language, their kids can understand now.

At the town camp where I live, I want all the parents to take their kids to Children’s Ground! Nanette

We want our kids to be strong in their language. Language has got more culture so we teach them to speak our language. The kids will grow up better because of it. When they grow up, they will keep coming here and keep learning. Children’s Ground is important for the kids to learn.


I only learned to speak in First Language when I was a teenager. My aunty taught me about skin names and then I learned how to speak from Nanna Dulcie. She taught me all those kinds of bush foods from going out to different parts of the Country together.


That’s what I want to teach to my son too. I teach my language at Children’s Ground so that I can teach him.

Walk with us

When you choose to support Children’s Ground, you are funding our bush trips. It will mean that parents, children, Elders and families can continue to be here together, learning and working.


Kele (thank you, okay) for listening to my story!


Nanette Sharpe,

Ampe-Kenhe Ahelhe (Children’s Ground Central Australia) Early Years Support Worker 

About Children's Ground

Children’s Ground is an Aboriginal organisation with an approach that places First Nations culture and language and history at the heart of a 25-year strategy for reform. We focus on prevention, early intervention and empowerment rather than crisis and deficit. We are implementing a system that recognises and privileges First Nations governance, solutions and systems of knowledge. We complement this with western and global practice. We address the key economic, social and cultural determinants needed for lasting change. We invest in prevention and the future of our children.  Our children, families, and communities are the experts. Our voices and talent will create change.