Indigenous Projects

We currently support two projects helping indigenous children in the Northern Territory.

Pwakayini: a playing place on Bathurst Island

Bathurst Island is 80km north of Darwin and is the home of the Tiwi people. There are many issues affecting the lives of the Tiwi children. Drug and alcohol abuse, gambling and domestic violence are experienced by many families.

The Pwakayini program at the preschool at Murrupurtuyanuwu Catholic Primary School has a number of aims. A nutrition program takes place once a week to give parents and care givers a chance to develop some skills around preparing and sharing nutritious meals. The program also promotes reading as a family activity.

A third aspect of the program uses structured play to help children develop social skills. It is hoped that mothers and care givers will be involved in all aspects of the program to gain increased self-confidence and foster a greater commitment to their children’s education.

Little Learning Centre, Alice Springs

This program aims to help preschool indigenous children at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic College in Alice Springs. The children at this preschool come mainly from town camps and foster care. They cannot access normal preschools because their families are unable to pay fees.

We are supporting better staff to student ratios at the centre and helping provide resources and facilities to assist the children as they move into mainstream education.

Quick Facts...


  • Life expectancy: 17-20 years less than for non-indigenous Australians
  • Average income: 62% of that for non-indigenous Australians
  • Under 5 mortality rate: twice that of non-indigenous children

Sources: HREOC and ABS.



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