The governing body for PaL is the Napranum PaL Group (NPG); a not for profit entity established in 2004. It consists of a board of eleven members; five parents of children who have been participants in the PaL program, three indigenous community and three non-Indigenous members who were co-developers and champions of the program.
As Executive Director of the Stronger Smarter Institute with an extensive career in education behind him, Chris Sarra is a leader of Indigenous education in Australia. His passion for the pursuit of more positive and productive educational outcomes for Indigenous children comes from his own first hand experiences as an Indigenous child, student, parent, teacher, principal and leader.
Lurline has dedicated most of her working life to the benefit of young children and families on Cape York. As a community teacher at Napranum Preschool for 20 years, Lurline was one of the main initiators and protagonists of the PaL concept. Lurline is a respected elder who continues to advocate for early childhood and families in her role as a Director.
Corine was the first PaL Coordinator of the Napranum trial program. She is a strong campaigner for Indigenous Education and a better future for Indigenous children. As a Director, Corine speaks on behalf of PaL at state and national education forums and encourages parents and communities to stand up strong for their children.
Relena is the Coordinator for PaL Programs in Napranum, Weipa and Cape York Peninsula. Relena provides remote and on site support to PaL people and programs in Lockhart River and the Northern Peninsula Area. In Napranum she works collaboratively with the staff at the Early Childhood Centre (a C & K Kindergarten) delivering ReadnPlay and PaL BookStart Level 1 and 2 to all enrolled families. Relenaǯs family ties are to the Kaurareg people of the Western Torres Strait, but she has lived all her life in Napranum. She has very strong connections in the community and continues to conduct home visits to support parents and help them help their kids in early learning.
Paul works as a ‘change agent’ for the benefit of Aboriginal communities. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2009 for his service to Indigenous communities for the development of cross cultural relationships between the mining and resources sector and traditional landowners. Paul encouraged Rio Tinto to support early childhood, families and children by supporting the development of PaL in the very beginning. He continues to champion the PaL program and the benefits it brings to communities across Australia.
Chris has been involved in early childhood education in Indigenous communities for over 30 years in a teaching, mentoring and community development capacity. She is passionate about building relationships, about making a difference for Indigenous families and children and about keeping things real and practical. Her history with PaL began as Napranum Preschool Director and foundation developer of the program.
Roshni is the foundation developer of the PaL Program and has extensive expertise and experience in early childhood, special needs and Indigenous education as well as being multi-lingual. She believes strongly that it is essential to put children’s environments at the centre of their education and to view parents as partners, collaborators and advocates for their children. Her passion and commitment to the PaL program and PaL communities is unwavering.
Michelle has been involved in a broad range of early childhood and family support initiatives across the Hunter Valley and is passionate about making a difference for Indigenous families and children. She brings her experience as a past Director of Awabakal Child Care Centre, PaL Coordinator and key support person to Newcastle and Muswellbrook as well as great energy and enthusiasm to the group.
Patricia’s involvement in early childhood began in Napranum in 1997 as a coordinator of the local playgroup program. Patricia has continued to be involved in early childhood since that beginning, has completed her Bachelor of Education (early childhood), and is currently the Director of the Napranum Early Childhood Centre. She is also the mother of four children, a strong advocate for the inclusion of cultural competence in early childhood settings and is passionate about improving early years outcomes for Indigenous children.
Zui’s involvement with the Napranum PaL Group began as a parent who was participating in the PaL BookStart program with her son. She found this to be a very rewarding program both for herself and her child. Having experienced education in four different settings (Napranum, Weipa, Cairns, Gordonvale), Zui feels very strongly about good beginnings and about appropriate education. She is currently studying for her Certificate III in ATSI Primary Health Care as well as supporting the delivery of the Napranum PaL Program.
Flora’s first association with PaL was through her attendance at Mum’s and Bub’s sessions being held by PaL staff in Napranum. Along with other young mothers Flora enjoyed learning more about ‘how children learn’ and it was a natural progression for Flora to undertake training to become a PaL tutor in 2013. Flora continued to extend on her experience in the early childhood field undertaking a traineeship in Children’s Services with Cape Kids child care centre in Weipa where she was awarded Trainee of the Year in both 2014 and 2015. As a board member, Flora brings with her, youth, experience as a young mother in Napranum and formal experience in early childhood education.
Tricia’s involvement in Indigenous education began in the early 1990’s working in the Napranum Preschool and at the local community primary school at Jessica Point. Her relationship with the Napranum community has been ongoing, and her appointment as the Project Manager of business and curriculum development for NPG in 2009 has reinforced and strengthened those ties. Her specialised training and passion for early childhood learning has contributed to her teaching experience spanning over 30 years in diverse educational settings.
Dip. Teaching E.C., B.Ed TESOL, Cert. IV Workplace Assessment & Training, M. Indigenous Australian Studies
Chris has lead the organisation since the early beginnings of PaL in 2000 and 2001. Her varied teaching experiences in the field of Indigenous education span more than 30 years and fuel her passion for making a difference for parents and children at a grass roots level. Chris was Director at Napranum Preschool for 12 years, is a co-developer of the PaL program and continues to work closely with PaL communities whilst driving the business of NPG.
Cert. 3 in Business Administration, Cert. 4 in Financial Services (currently studying), NPG Director and Secretary
Corine began working with the PaL program in 2001 as the first PaL Tutor and Coordinator of the Napranum program. Since then she has completed qualifications in Business Administration and has undertaken furtherfinancial studies, adding an extremely important skill-set to our team. Corine is now committed to balancing the books as our Financial Controller and speakingout on behalf of PaL families as one of our three Directors. Corine presently sits as the Director and Chair of the Central Sub-Regional Trust and Director and Chair of the Coordinating Committee with the Western Cape Communities Co-Existence Agreement (WCCCA).
Cert. 3 in Children’s Services
Relena’s involvement began with PaL in 2001 in the Napranum community when she joined the group as a participant with her daughter. She soon became a Tutor and with her natural ability to work effectively with parents and staff moved into the role of Coordinator for the Napranum PaL program. Relena’s current role is supporting the implementation and delivery of PaL in communities across Cape York Peninsula. As a community person Relena strives to develop strong community ownership within the communities she works with.
Dip. Teaching Ed, Grad. Dip Teaching E.C.
Tricia has been working in education for over 30 years. Seven of those years were spent on Cape York (Napranum/Weipa) with her passion being directed towards Early Childhood education. She has worked as a foundation staff member establishing a new school overseas being involved in teaching, curriculum development and coordination. Tricia joined the PaL team in 2009 working in the Business Development area. Since then she has continued to work at developing aspects of the business and the program, as well as supporting new and ongoing PaL projects.
Napranum PaL Group is committed to employing local people as PaL Tutors to help parents help their kids get ready for school. Our belief in continuous learning means appropriate training and support is provided both on and off site for each role. If you have an interest in education and supporting families, keep an eye out for any vacancies in your local area. You can also contact us at [email protected] to find out about vacancies in other areas.
“I feel like I am learning and that makes me feel good – very good. I’m very proud of what I’m doing – to help other parents with their children.” PaL Tutor
“I think PaL’s a good program, something that we didn’t have as kids, and I’ve seen short term a lot of positive things… I think if we can get more tutors and more parents involved, then we might have a better chance of helping along the success.” PaL Tutor
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