The Nawarddeken Academy - A School for Kabulwarnamyo

By The Karrkad-Kanjdji Trust

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About the Community

Kabulwarnamyo is a remote outstation community, located in the Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area (IPA), West Arnhem Land. It was established as a permanent community in 2003 by well-known artist Bardayal 'Lofty' Nadjamerrek AO, who guided his extended family back to live on their ancestral lands, where they enjoy a healthy and purposeful lifestyle living and working 'on-country'.

Kabulwarnamyo outstation is now the headquarters for the Warddeken Rangers, an Indigenous ranger team managing 1.4 million hectares of country of global conservation and cultural significance. Kabulwarnamyo is an exemplary community, providing meaningful employment on country, family continuity and the opportunity to keep long-standing cultural practices alive. Kabulwarnamyo is also one of the very few communities to continuously hold "cultural camps" for its young people, run by the elders, during the dry season school holidays, when many children return home from neighboring townships and participate in intergenerational learning activities.

A School for Kabulwarnamyo

Due to its size and remoteness, Kabulwarnamyo does not currently qualify for a Government school. To attend school, children must move to far-away towns, predominantly Gunbalanya (Oenpelli), causing families to be separated for extended periods, and exposing young people to the dysfunction of Indigenous growth towns. With the help of the Karrkad-Kanjdji Trust, the community of Kabulwarnamyo is establishing a school like no other in Australia. The Nawarddeken Academy will be owned and guided by Nawarddeken, the people of the Stone Country, and will be administered by Warddeken Land Management, a non profit organization set up by the traditional owners of the Warddeken IPA. Children will learn in their traditional language alongside English. Specific curriculum will be developed in partnership with community elders, and taught in tandem with the Australian Curriculum, valuing both cultures and imparting the skills needed to develop meaningful careers living and working on country.

Under the leadership of passionate volunteers such as Rick Tudor OAM (former principal of Trinity Grammar School) and Hagar Bulliwana (A community elder and an experienced Indigenous educator) the project has made significant progress. At this stage, the school is entirely privately funded and has achieved over 70 per cent of its target for the first year.

Join us on our journey

The community of Kabulwarnamyo have a clear vision for their school but they need your support to realize it.

By supporting the Nawarddeken Academy you will become part of a unique journey that will enable a remote Indigenous community to have a say about how their children are educated.

You support will help to ensure that customary knowledge and practices are kept alive in a meaningful way, thereby helping to sustain one of the world's oldest continuing cultures. The integration of traditional and Western knowledge in the Academy's curriculum will also enable children to develop strengths in both cultures and the skill necessary to pursue meaningful careers working on country.

To learn more about this exciting project visit our website:

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Team Members

Bjorn Everts