The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust (KKT) brings together Indigenous ranger groups, communities, and philanthropic partners in a shared mission: to support the Bininj people of Central and Western Arnhem Land in preserving their country and culture.
By providing critical funding for on ground programs and infrastructure, KKT aims to back Traditional Owners and Djungkay to continue to live on Country and undertake critical conservation and cultural work, supporting the continuation of the world’s oldest living culture.
Along with its partners, KKT works to educate and prepare the next generation of custodians, safeguard cultural knowledge, strengthen the role of local women and protect over 65,000 square kilometres of land and sea country.
KKT recognises the link between cultural heritage, community strength and conservation outcomes, and as such supports bi-cultural education projects to not only provide education that is locally and culturally relevant, but to safeguard traditions and nurture the custodians of the future.
At the request of the Nawarddeken Traditional Owners of the Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) in West Arnhem Land, the Nawarddeken Academy was established in 2015. The Academy, a bi-cultural, community-owned school, provides access to full-time education in the remote home communities of the Warddeken IPA and educates children in both the Bininj (Indigenous) and Balanda (non-Indigenous) worlds.
The Academy has grown from a single teacher under a tarpaulin in Kabulwarnamyo to three registered independent schools, with additional Nawarddeken Academy schools established in Manmoyi and Mamardawerre at the request of Traditional Owners in 2021. Now, children at all three ranger base communities in the Warddeken IPA have access to education on their homelands, combining traditional Indigenous knowledge and the Australian curriculum.
In 2023, Nawarddeken Academy, supported by the TFFF and other funders, commenced the process of establishing a high school and early learning program, to guarantee Nawarddeken children an On-Country, bi-cultural education for the entirety of their school years. This expansion will include creating purpose-built accommodation for teachers and staff, as well as developing multipurpose classrooms that can accommodate high school students, the early learning program and adult education in the evenings.
The Nawarddeken Academy recently held a camp that brought together all three schools to create a hip-hop song and music video about their culture and communities. Watch the video, titled Cycles of the Land, here:
Cover photo: Nawarddeken Academy Students. Image Credit: Stacey Irving. All photos courtesy of Karrkad Kanjdji Trust.
The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust and the Nawarddeken Academy are supported through the Futureproof stream.