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In the heart of Australia, Arrernte families are creating a new future for the next generation. A future full of opportunity and hope.

“We want a place where our children are safe, where they can grow up to be healthy, educated and have a better future. Children’s Ground is the place for them. We are seeing our kids learning and loving to learn. Their families are walking beside them. We have hope for the future.” – Lorrayne Gorey, Senior Arrernte Educator

The Children’s Ground Approach was developed with Arrernte Elders and leaders in Mparntwe (Alice Springs).

Following initial work in 2011, Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe began formal operations in 2016. We started as a small group of passionate Arrernte educators who delivered weekly learning activities and today we deliver key elements of all our platforms in five communities.

Learning is delivered both on Country and in the communities where people live. These sessions focus on both Arrernte and Western educational priorities. Children learn First Language and Culture as well as Western literacy and numeracy.

Since 2019, our First Nations educators have published 9 books that feature 7 Indigenous Languages spoken in the communities we work with. These books are used as learning resources at Children’s Ground and are also available for sale as part of our resource development enterprise. In 2020, we released an audiobook app with digital versions of our books and interactive games that teach Arrernte language. We are combining ancient language with new technologies.

Our no-barriers approach to employment gives people a chance to enter the workforce. We have 97 First Nations staff who work in a variety of areas. This includes education, health promotion, administration and leadership.

Governance meetings are held on a weekly basis for planning and decision-making. These meetings are critical for the design and delivery of the Children’s Ground Approach. As each community has specific priorities and needs, each has its own leadership team.

“We’ve been following government nearly all our lives – this is a new beginning. We are following a new path, our own path as First Nations people for the future of our children. At Children’s Ground, the community is taking the lead. We are very proud of that. We are the government of ourselves.”

MK Turner OAM, Arrernte Elder and Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe Director