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HomeIssue 10Local men work on $3.2m learning centre

Local men work on $3.2m learning centre

PHOTOS: Top – Local and visiting women from Yuendumu celebrate the opening of the centre (from left) Janet Gordon, Maisie Kitson, Wendy Leichlitner, Ann Grace Kitson, Lisa Gordon, Serena Shannon, Julie Kitson and Janelle Ross. Below – the new centre.
Four Willowra men worked on the construction of the $3.2m Wirliyajarrayi Learning Centre for adults and pre-school children in their community of Willowra, north-west of Alice Springs, clocking up 1400 working hours and picking up skills including brick laying and plaster board fitting.
Gary White, Malcolm Fry, Nathaniel Brown and Rowan Long were paid award wages, and have now been offered further employment by the builder, the Aboriginal owned Tangentyere Constructions in Alice Springs, according to the Central Land Council.
Money for the centre came from mining royalties ($625,000) and $2.6m from the Aboriginal Benefit Account.
Adrian Mitchell, director of the Batchelor Institute which is running the centre, says planning was done by the people in the community.
“The centre is about engaging local people who come to learn how to use computers, do their own banking, address their literacy and numeracy concerns, and at the same time find out what their aspirations are.”
There will be training for health and education support workers.
“With the opening of the child care, youth centre and adult learning facilities we have the opportunity of building relationships and trust with the community,” says Mr Mitchell.



  1. May I offer my heartiest congratulations to the strong women of the Willowra Aboriginal Community, NW of Alice Springs who had the wonderful vision to build this learning centre. Through use of their own royalty monies and additional financial support from the ABTA the community now has a worthwhile educational facility which will be well used because it has been purpose built, and has had community input into design and structure. Well done, to the Batchelor Institute, the CLC and Tangentyere Constructions for your wholistic support of such a fantastic community initiative. What a shame the vast majority of media and others, don’t pick up on the good news stories as much as we would like. Thanks Alice Springs News.


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