About the Author
Grace Tongatua has been involved with Yolngu communities since 2007 and has a strong passion for developing resources, for use by Yolngu Matha speakers with their children, to develop literacy in first language.
Grace has been teaching in the Northern Territory since 2006. She has taught at Borroloola, Milingimbi, Shepherdson College on Elcho Island and Ludmilla in Darwin. She has a Bachelor of Laws (honors first class), a Bachelor of Education and a Graduate Certificate in Yolngu Studies. She is currently studying towards achieving a Bachelor of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics.
As part of the Graduate Certificate in Yolngu Studies, Grace collated and edited an illustrated children’s dictionary in Yolngu Matha (Djambarrpuyŋu). She spent over $2,000 to self-publish this and copies of this work are currently being used at the school at Milingimbi.
Grace Tongatua also maintains a Youtube Channel ‘Learning Yolngu Matha with a Balanda Miyalk. <https://www.youtube.com/user/BalandaMiyalk>.
Grace is currently exploring ways to fund the publication of a revised edition of the dictionary as well as other early childhood literacy materials. These are for use in the home. Not for use in the schools as literacy begins in the home.
Currently Grace is enjoying staying at home, on Galiwin’ku, looking after her two boys.