Our journey so far
From 1987-1989 five now Elders from Ngukurr, graduated with a Bachelor Arts in Education from Deakin University, including Cherry Daniels, Kevin Rogers and John Joshua. In 1989, most teachers at Ngukurr School were locals (see photo to left).
These five people are the only Aboriginal University graduates from Ngukurr Community.
In 2008, supported by the Sidney Myer Fund, Dr Ens (through ANU's People on Country project) started working with Ngukurr Elder Cherry Daniels, the Yugul Mangi Rangers and Ngukurr Community on a range of cross-cultural environment projects.
Over this time, the team became known as the Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri (We study the Country) Research team.
In 2015, a young people's empowerment project, called the Yangbala Project in kriol, was created (funded by The Nature Conservancy) to take young Aboriginal people out on-Country and help develop their work-ready skills.
In 2017, the first three young people from Ngukurr community in 30 years, started studying at university.
They enrolled in Education, Science and the Foundation Course (going into Environmental Management) at Macquarie University, Sydney.
Students are supported by Macquarie University, Walanga Muru Aboriginal Student Support Unit and Dr Emilie Ens.
In 2017, the Ngukurr Wi Stadi Bla Kantri Research Team, led by Dr Ens, Elder Cherry Daniels OAM and the Yugul Mangi Rangers won the 2017 Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science. Learn more.
In 2018, two students. Melissa Wurramarrba and Ernest Daniels, were announced as finalist and semi-finalist in the Northern Territory Young Achiever of the Year Awards.
In May 2018, staff from Macquarie University, including Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Leanne Holt, went to Ngukurr and Wuyagiba on a scoping trip for the Wuyagiba Study Hub. Here they met with the Traditional Owners and Jungayi of Wuyagiba (who signed a site use agreement) and conducted informal interviews with 25 students for the Trial of the first Tertiary Preparation Course to be run in September 2018.
Following the success of these partnerships, Ngukurr community would like the University to come to them – to a Bush University – the Wuyagiba Region Study Hub.