The Nawarddeken Academy


Kabulwarnamyo is a remote Indigenous community, located in the Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area (IPA), West Arnhem Land. It was established as a permanent community from 2003 onwards, by Bardayal 'Lofty' Nadjamerrek AO

(Wamud Namok) for his Mok clan, on their ancestral lands.


Kabulwarnamyo outstation is headquarters for the Warddeken rangers, an Indigenous ranger program managing 1.4 million hectares of global conservation and cultural significance. It has a population of about 50 people.


At the request of local Indigenous elders and community members, Warddeken Land Management, in partnership with the Karrkad-Kanjdji Trust assisted the community to establish a school.


The Kabulwarnamyo community supports a strong tradition of passing knowledge between generations, but it is so remote, and the population so small, that it does not qualify to receive government-sponsored resources for children’s education. This poses a significant threat to community cohesion and ranger employment.


To attend school, children must move to far-away towns, predominantly Gunbalanya (Oenpelli), causing families to be separated for extended periods, and exposing young people to the distractions of towns. Alternately, parents must leave their employment as rangers and move their families to live near a school - to towns which have very limited employment opportunities for parents.


Who benefits?

  • Local children and the children across the Arnhem Plateau;

  • Their parents who will be able to keep their meaningful jobs, and model a career path for young people in the community; and

  • Other remote Indigenous communities looking for inspiration a model to follow