Teaching the teachers

Ladies from the Alice Springs and Hermannsburg Lutheran churches shared their history and knowledge with Yirara College staff during professional development sessions earlier this year.

Marion Swift from Hermannsburg spoke about working with Indigenous teenagers to manage behavior in positive ways. She helped staff understand how Yirara students might be thinking about their lives and education, and answered numerous practical questions from staff members. Marion stressed the need for ongoing consultation with families, and the importance of listening carefully to what communities are trying to achieve with their young people.

After morning tea Christobel Swan, Kunpry Ramble, Nyinta Donald, Edith Richards and Marjorie Williams told stories about growing up as Christians in remote communities. They talked about the respect and love they had for the missionaries. They described how the mission staff cared for them, going out of their way to assist and protect Aboriginal people. The women also recalled the strict regimes of teaching and work on mission communities, which they claimed helped make them responsible Christian people.

Thanks to Yirara for inviting the ladies to lead these sessions – and thanks to all the ladies for sharing their stories.