sue-sm  Manager: Sue Hanson

Sue is a qualified linguist and teacher with many years experience in remote Aboriginal communities, the Pilbara and Kimberley regions. After teaching for 26 years in remote locations in which time Sue established and worked in Aboriginal independent community schools, she left teaching for the linguistic field. Sue has a very strong commitment to the preservation, analysis and use of Aboriginal languages of WA and has worked as a documentary linguist in this field for the last 10 years.

denise-sm Senior Linguist: Denise Smith-Ali

Denise has worked for many years on the documentation, revival and use of the Noongar language. As a qualified linguist, Denise is now engaged with the collection and analysis of the Noongar language through the Noongar Boodjar Language Centre.


Charmaine-sm Education Officer: Charmaine Councillor

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 (LOTE) 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.

Charmaine is studying for her linguistics degree and is now working as the Education Officer for NBLC where she engages with the wider community in a range of workshops and educational activities and produces Noongar learning resources.


Esther Schipp Community Engagement Officer, Special Projects: Esther Schipp

Esther is passionate about communities and comes with vast experiences in this sector both in a professional and personal capacity.

She enjoys community interactions and has initiated and coordinated a number of events and groups. Having worked with a number of Bunbury services, her skills are wide and varied connecting with people of all ages and cultures.

Previously she was a Project Officer helping newly arrived migrants settle into the country through support group interactions and partnerships with local community services.

Holding a Diploma of Human Services specialising in Social Welfare and also a certificate in Teacher Assistant, she joins the team combining her interest in areas of community and education.


Brodie Ryder Reception: Brodie Ryder

I work as the receptionist at the new Noongar Language Centre. I am of Wardandi and Balardong clan heritage.

I have previously worked for Goomburrup, which is another Aboriginal organisation for the local community here in Bunbury. There I worked as a trainee receptionist, where I completed my Certificate II in Business.

I graduated primary school in 2007 from Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School. There I learned the Noongar language from the age of 4 and it started to become quite natural to me. However after moving onto high school my language began to fade, as the language I had to learn then was French. I graduated year 12 in 2012 from Australind Senior High School, where I also completed a Certificate I in Hospitality.

During high school and after leaving high school I still had a huge interest in getting my language back, which is why I went on to getting my first job at Goomburrup. Whilst I was there I also worked with Aunty Charmaine Councillor for Batchelor Institute on some language recordings where I heard my great grandmother Alice Bennell’s (nee Hill) voice for the first time speaking the Noongar language, that’s when I knew I wanted to be a part of the Noongar language as much as I can and for as long as I can.

Working here at the Noongar Language Centre has definitely bought my language back to me, I now realise, it was never really gone I just needed to be reminded and it instantly came back to me.

I do hope to become a linguist one day and study the Noongar language and its history and be able to share and pass down my wonderful language.


Pat Clarke Voluntary Archivist: Pat Clarke with Esther Schipp

I have worked in the Library at Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School. At present working as an AIEO at Glen Huon Primary School. I think it’s great to have a Language Centre for Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal to share their history together and for somewhere that their stories can be kept and shared. I am doing the archiving at the Noongar Boodjar Language Centre.