Nyrripi Cover small

On Monday 18 November our Foundation will launch another book in our Community Identified Projects for 2013. Growing Up in Nyirrpi was inspired by the works of two students from a very small remote community school in Central Australia.

“Lisa Marshall and Desphina Brown were senior students at the school in 2012 and 2013. They started this project as part of their school English activities. Inspired by Mary Malbunka’s book ‘When I Was Little, Like You’, in which she writes about her childhood in Papunya, Lisa and Desphina reflected on their own childhood experiences.

‘Growing up in Nyirrpi’ is a collection of vignettes about childhood, showing the richness, variety and sheer exuberance of the children’s experiences living in a small, isolated desert community. Other students, inspired by Desphina and Lisa’s work, also wrote about some of their experiences, and they too are included in the book,” said Virginia King, a teacher at Nyirrpi School.


Desphina and Lisa (c) Virginia King

“This book celebrates life, family and community – commitment and leadership – and demonstrates the idea that anything is possible when you work towards it. Publishing a book like this one has enormous advantages for the students involved and for the greater community,” said Tina Raye, Program Manager, Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

“The students gain confidence and pride as their stories are being recognised and shared. We provide hundreds of copies of the book to the whole community and surrounding communities, which also generates much excitement and engagement in reading and sharing stories.”

Students at Nyirrpi School (c) Virginia King

Nyirrpi is a small desert Warlpiri community, located 420km northwest of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Lisa Marshall and Desphina Brown, along with their Principal Wendy Jones, teacher Virginia King and other students who contributed to the book, will travel to Alice Springs for the official launch.