Researcher biography

My role in the School of Languages and Cultures is Lecturer in Endangered Languages.

My research focus is languages in education, in particular the role of policy, teaching and learning on Indigenous languages and cultural revival, revitalisation and maintenance. My approach to teaching and research is collaborative, community-guided and applied. This informed by my on-going self-reflexivity as a non-Indigenous woman and my experience living and working on unceded Kaurna, Arrernte, Warumungu, Warlpiri, Pintupi-Luritja and, since 2019, Jagera and Turrbal country.

After working as an adult educator, my research life began in 2004 with Warumungu linguist B Morrison Nakkamarra, investigating child language development in Tennant Creek, Central Australia, and the place of Warumungu and the contact language Wumpurrarni English in children's language repertoires. I completed my PhD in 2009. As regional linguist with the Northern Territory Department of Education, 2008-2013, I collaborated closely with Indigenous educators on curriculum design, professional learning and resource development. Returning to research, I have published articles, book chapters and a co-edited volume on the Northern Territory Bilingual Education program, with Warlpiri collaborator Barbara Martin on Warlpiri Bilingual Education and widely on national languages curriculum and policy.

From 2015-2019 I worked once again with Warumungu linguists and families to return and repurpose a set of archived recordings for language and cultural revitalisation through arts-based practice. In a current project with the Papunya Bilingual Collection Steering Committee, lead by Luritja elder Charlotte Phillipus and with sociologist Vivien Johnson, I continue to work on the return, safe-keeping, access and use of archival language and education materials.