Yipirinya Early History

Yipirinya School was founded on the initiative of the Aboriginal Elders of the Town Camps of Alice Springs and is testimony to the fact that there are positive outcomes from these communities, despite often adverse publicity.

Our History

In the 1970’s, the town camp elders wanted a school of their own. They felt that the Government Schools did not properly cater for their children due to traditional Languages and Culture being ignored and because their children felt that they had no sense of belonging and were teased by peers.

The elders wanted a school where Aboriginal Languages and Culture were prominent, where there was a strong Aboriginal presence and where their children felt safe, connected and comfortable.

In 1978 the Yipirinya School Council was formed.1978
In 1979 the first classes were started in the town camps.1979
In 1981 the Council applied for registration of the school, but this was originally rejected.1981
After an appeal to the Supreme Court the School was finally registered in September 1983.1983
The site in Lovegrove Drive was offered in 1984 and the School moved to Tangentyere Council until the first stage of building was completed.1984
The first stage of building was completed in September 1988. 1988
The second stage of the building was completed by November 1989. 1989
Yipirinya caterpillar

Dreamtime Story

Excerpt from “The Town Grew Up Dancing” by Kwementyaye W Rubuntja.

That’s real ayeparenye country – the ayeparenye caterpillar was always in Mparntwe country.

And that place called Henley on Todd, that is called Tyuretye. The ayeparenye caterpillar came from Urlatherrke (Mount Zeil) and went straight to Anthwerrke. Anthwerrke is the name of Emily Gap. It climbed up in this direction, then others came through from Arturle to Thararle Tneme. Thararle Tneme is where the bridge and the causeway is – it’s known as Sadadeen Point. All of those shady river red gum trees are another group of ayeparenye caterpillars. They came from Apmakweng (Central Mount Stuart) to Akangkarle Arrerneke. From there to Mpwetyerre – where there is that little rock lying down there, where the Casino is built – there was lots of saltbush there, during ration time.

The old man ayeparenye climbed up to the top of Mount John – and then fell right back down again. He climbed up and up and up, and at the top of the range he felt really happy – that is why the place is called Akangkarle Arrerneke (akangkeme means ‘happy’). Another group of ayeparenye caterpillars came from Arturle and went to the other side of Thararle Tneme and then turned around – they were travelling in from the east. Heavitree Gap is Arlperenye Beetle Dreaming, and the other area is Ayeparenye Dreaming. The ayeparenye went past two sand hills and then they went towards Heavitree Gap, where the arlperenye beetle was. The arlperenye beetle chopped [all their heads off], and then they went on to Apanparle-irreke, then to Amoonguna plain. That’s why it’s everybody’s four corners – everybody’s four corners.

The utnerrengatye caterpillar [also] came from Apmakweng [Central Mount Stuart]. It tried hard to climb up the range – he wanted to climb up and have a look. Well he climbed up and then fell back down again. Then he went over there to Anthwerrke [Emily Gap] and he saw Tyantwenge, standing there – old woman granny, old Rita Tyantwenge, standing there. The small sharp rock there is the old woman herself. Well from there he put his head down and went out of the Gap and he saw a group of caterpillars lined up and going towards Heavitree Gap. On the Ntaripe plain the arlperenye beetle, old Sid Ross [a well respected Arrernte man from Alice Springs], forced them to turn back, and they went towards Apanparle-irreke and Amoonguna. That plain there.

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