Education Officer
Noongar Boodjar Language Cultural Aboriginal Corporation

Noongar Language Centre

Charmaine is the daughter of Glen and Phyllis Bennell (nee Wallam) and was born in Pingelly, Western Australia. Her family moved to Bunbury when she was a toddler. While working at Manguri school (Sister Kate’s) in Perth, she started the Languages Other than English program so that she could teach the Noongar language. Charmaine then moved back to her home town.

Charmaine was a Noongar language teacher at Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School Bunbury. Charmaine has been involved in teaching Adult classes for last 4 years for the local community of Bunbury. She is now currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics. Her aspirations are to encourage her community to embrace and continue to revive and maintain Noongar Language for future generations.



Gloria was born in Pingely, Western Australia. She is one of ten children born to Andy and Alice Bennell (nee Hill).

While working at Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School, she attended the Languages Other Than English (LOTE) program to be able to teach students the Noongar language. As a mature students, Gloria completed a Child Care course at TAFE before working at Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School. She was employed as a Aboriginal Islander Education Officer and a LOTE teacher.

Gloria is retired but still works with her community to support Noongar Language revival. She is a founding member of Dandjoo Moordiyap Dabakarn and participates in many of the project activities.



Associate Lecturer – Centre for Aboriginal Studies
Curtin University

George is an Ngadj Ndadji Noongar man with ties to Balardong boodjar from his father’s family and has cultural ties with Whadjuk boodja as well. George is currently Chairperson of the Noongar Boodjar Language Cultural Aboriginal Corporation. He was elected as Chair of the Board of Directors after participating in the project for several years and demonstrating his dedication and commitment to the strengthening and revival of Noongar language and culture.

George started his commitment to Noongar language by undertaking LOTE training in the mid 1990s within the Midland district, travelling to rural and regional towns to support language in schools and community events.

Today George is at Curtin University as an Associate Lecturer with the Centre for Aboriginal Studies within the Faculty of Health. He has completed his Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous Community Health and is currently in the process of doing his Master of Business Administration, George hopes to continue his career as an Indigenous Lecturer to create a strong voice for Noongar people in community development and learning for all.



Brett was born in Pingelly and at young age his father and mother moved the family to Armadale for better education and employment opportunities and that's where they live today. Brett, his wife and three sons, live in Mandurah and are actively involved in the local community.

Brett has been employed in the Australian Public Service for over 35 years working in a number States and Territories in policy development and delivery of government services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. o ignored

He is currently employed as Team Leader for the Indigenous Electoral Participation Program (IEPP) with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) responsible for working with the community to raise awareness of the democratic and electoral processes; to increase voting levels and to decrease the levels of informal voting.



Programs Coordinator Aboriginal Heritage Unit (AHU)

Department of Parks and Wildlife

Karim is a Noongar man with connections to country to the Donnybrook, Collie, Busselton, Bunbury areas in the south-west. He has worked for the Department of Parks and Wildlife for 20 years.

Roles over the years include a seasonal firefighter, Conservation employee, Aboriginal Training Supervisor, Project officer with south West Native Title section and now with the AHU. Karim has made a significant contribution to increasing understanding of Noongar culture and how people live with their country and ensuring all Aboriginal interests are considered in relation to Parks and Wildlife legislation and policies. He shares his knowledge of traditional skills and practices, and how they are applied to today's world through participation in education activities, community events and community development programs, including the Noongar Language Program.



Land Operations Officer/Land Branch
Department of Indigenous Affairs

Beverley Rebbeck is a Noongar Woman. Her father’s country is the Kaneang and her mother’s country is the Wilman from the south-west, of WA.

Beverley has worked in Aboriginal Affairs throughout the State of WA, with all levels of Commonwealth, State and Local Government programs and has had the opportunity to work with many Aboriginal People and Aboriginal Communities.

Beverley has a strong commitment to Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management, Reconciliation and the preservation of Aboriginal Oral Histories and Languages.



Project Officer for Aboriginal Languages
WA Department of Education

Coleen’s role as the Project Officer for Aboriginal Languages entails co presenting the Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training course within the Department. The course aims to provide quality language speakers and program’s throughout West Australian public schools.



Denise Smith-Ali is a Noongar woman from the south-west of Western Australia. Denise was born in her father’s country, Kaneang clan and her mother is from the Wilman clan.

Denise has always had a strong interest in her culture and language. In the late 1990’s, Denise had the privilege to be a part of establishing a K-3 School at Manguri, Queen’s Park, planning the future for young Aboriginal children. Denise became a Noongar LOTE teacher, starting to take control of her own language situation and teaching this to the younger generations.

Denise studied at Batchelor Institute of the Northern Territory to gain more skill and knowledge for her language work. Denise qualified with a Batchelor of Arts (Languages & Linguistics) and worked as a Noongar Community Linguist for eight years on the Dandjoo Moordiyap Darbakarn – Noongar Language Project.

Currently Denise is engaged as the Linguist with the Noongar Language Centre.



Theresa Walley, was born in Kellerberrin on the 6th of November 1937. She was one of nine children born to Mary Theresa Indich and Luis Winmar. At the tender age of seven, she with several of her family were placed in the care of the Carrolup Mission. Mary and her children absconded and Theresa ended up in St Joseph’s orphanage at New Norcia. Here she received a very restricted upbringing so was totally unprepared for life when she was put outside the doors with a suitcase. She found a job as a domestic at the Quairading hospital. Eventually she met and married Leslie Robert Walley. The children to this marriage are Trevor, Robert, Doreen, Cheryl, Rosemary, Charmaine and Christopher (deceased).

Now a great grandmother, Theresa’s life has been one of survival, bringing up children, working and constantly researching the background of her culture.

Rather than retire, now with the duties of “Elder” she is constantly on call and in great demand. Her love of her fellow indigenous peoples, especially the young, is very evident in the many projects in which she is involved, including tourism where she guest speaks, does educational bushwalks and demonstrates the values of bush-tucker.

Theresa has authored and illustrated several books about Noongar culture and traditional stories. In this book Theresa invited her daughter Cheryl and granddaughter Biara to do the paintings for two of the stories.