The Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics (CALL) is a language centre based in the Division of Higher Education and Research at Batchelor Institute. CALL is closely connected with Batchelor Press. CALL provides a service to community teams, supporting their work on language projects. This work includes language recording and documentation, publication, training, research, and resource development for language learning.

CALL people – who are we?

CALL employs staff in both Batchelor township in the Top End and at the Desert Peoples Centre in Alice Springs.  In the Top End are Maree Klesch, Director of CALL and Batchelor Press, Annette Woodbridge, Admin and Maurice O’Riordan, Publications Manager, Batchelor Press. Sarah Martin is currently on leave. In Central Australia are Angela Harrison, Project Manager, and Vanessa Farrelly, Pertame Language Officer. Margaret Carew is currently working on the implementation of the NT Indigenous Languages Curriculum through the NT Department of Education. In addition to the CALL staff are the Batchelor Institute Staff and other Associates. Among the Associates are language experts, linguists and others who through their commitment, interest and various skills have supported CALL work and projects.

Work with us, because in the words of a long time Batchelor language custodian, linguist, activist and educator, Jeanie Bell:

Jeanie Bell
Jeanie Bell

I believe that the strenuous efforts of most Indigenous language workers are primarily about sustaining our linguistic survival … and a determination to ensure that our cultural heritage continues to be passed on … even if in a modified form to what it was 100 or 200 years ago. We do it to stay connected to our country and the old ways of our Ancestors and we need it to stay strong in ourselves …. We also need to work out the best ways we can take it into the future …

Read more about Australia’s Indigenous languages

CALL has a long history of teaching and research in Indigenous Languages – a tradition which has built upon the foundational work of the School of Australian Linguistics through the 1970s and 1980s. CALL collaborates with communities throughout the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and also with language initiatives across Australia. We use a both-ways philosophy and participatory methodologies because community engagement is the key to Indigenous language maintenance and revival.

CALL is supported by the Commonwealth Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts Program (ILA). ILA provides core operational funding to CALL and this is supplemented by additional grants.


We work with organisations in community to achieve shared goals– such as Maningrida College, Maningrida Arts and Culture, the Central Land Council, the Thamurrurr Development Corporation, PAW Media, Indigenous Community TV (ICTV) and Ti Tree School.

We value our partnerships and relationships with other organisations such as the Research Unit for Indigenous Language at the University of Melbourne, the Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD), the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Charles Darwin University (CDU), the Northern Territory Library, the Northern Territory Department of Education and Training and the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL).


Pertame School

We are Pertame (Southern Arrernte) people from the Finke River, 120km south of Alice Springs. Our language is critically endangered, with less than 20 fluent speakers left. We are deeply worried that Southern Arrernte language identity could fall asleep when they pass on. This is why we are working as a family to perserve our… Read more »

Central Australia | NT Language Support Program

This program works with people and organisations in Central Australia to support the Indigenous languages of the region. The project supports local efforts in language maintenance, archiving, revival, publishing and education for these languages: Eastern and Central Arrernte, Pertame, Kaytetye and Warlpiri. The Arrernte Language Office at the Desert People’s Centre Iltyem-iltyem Central Australian sign languages project… Read more »

Wadeye Endangered Languages Project

The Wadeye Endangered Languages Project is a joint project of over 10 years between Wadeye Aboriginal Languages Centre and CALL at Batchelor Institute. It has operated in the Thamarrurr Region including the locations Wadeye, Nganmarriyanga, Peppimanarti, Nauiyu, and Wulliana. The project is overseen by community elders who determine language documentation needs, outcomes and prioritising of… Read more »

Maningrida | NT Language Support Program

This program works with people and organisations in Maningrida to support Indigenous languages in north-central Arnhem Land. The project conducts fieldwork and supports local efforts in language maintenance, archiving, revival, publishing and education for these languages: Ndjébbana, Burarra & Gun-nartpa, Kune & Kuninjku, Djinang, Na-kara and Gurr-goni. We collaborate with the Lúrra Language and Culture program at Maningrida College, with Bawinanga Aboriginal… Read more »

Mowanjum language project

Elders of the three language groups at Mowanjum Community – Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunambal – have been working together with CALL to document their languages and to produce books, talking books and language learning resources to help strengthen their languages and keep them strong in the future. CALL partners with the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art &… Read more »

WANALA – The Western and Northern Aboriginal Languages Alliance

WANALA is a non-profit, peak body for representing Aboriginal languages of the northern and western regions of Australia. As an alliance of language centres, projects and activities, WANALA aims to provide advocacy for the recognition and support of the languages of the region, promote awareness of the diversity of languages and their contexts, and develop… Read more »

Dandjoo Moordiyap Dabakarn – Noongar Language Project

This project ran for 8 years and focused on the 3 primary dialects of Noongar. It has operated in the southwest of WA, in Perth and Bunbury as well as ranging from Geraldton to Esperance. The project has resulted in over 70 published language resources for Noongar. The former Dandjoo Moordiyap Dabakarn has now formed… Read more »