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

599 First Nations people engaged with Children's Ground in Central Australia in 2020

161 First Nations children (0-5 years old) engaged with early years learning in Central Australia in 2020

57 First Nations people were employed in 2020. For some, this is their first chance at employment

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. Today, we work in four communities, delivering our Learning and Health platforms. Key elements of our other three platforms are incorporated in our work. A fifth community has requested Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe and early operations began in 2020.

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 a staff of over 60 Aboriginal 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