Our History

Akeyulerre was established in 2000 by Arrernte Elders and community members as a place for all Arrernte people to practice and enjoy their cultural life on a daily basis.

Akeyulerre was the vision of Elders who came together in the late 1990’s to talk about how to strengthen their community and culture. Some of these Elders have now passed away. However, their vision has continued and is carried on by their families and the next generations.

Akeyulerre is sometimes known as ‘the healing centre’ because the cultural knowledge systems and intergenerational teachings that occur at Akeyulerre are so integral to ‘healing’ and strengthening the community.

Through Akeyulerre, Arrernte people have an opportunity to accesss their own knowledge systems in thier own way. It was established so that young people feel proud of their culture and know that their culture is alive and strong.

Akeyulerre is dedicated to ensuring there is a place for cultural knowledge and practices and that this is promoted and shared with the broader Australian community.

Myra Hayes

Skin name: Ampetyane, Language: Central Arrernte, Current home: Alice Springs

Myra Hayes, is the traditional custodian of Mparntwe (Alice springs). She is a founder of Akeyulerre and provided the cultural leadership and direction for the early conversations and gatherings of local Arrernte elders and families.

Kathy Abbott

Skin name: Perrurle, Language Eastern Arrernte, Current home: Alice Springs

Kathy Abbott is a founder of Akeyulerre, and held the vision, and spirit for the centre for the first 8 years. Committed to her people, she walked and talked with senior custodians, traditional healers and the community, to bring the vision of Akeyulerre to reality. She ran healing programs at Akeyulerre, during the most difficult years, when Traditional knowledge and healing was dismissed and disregarded in the mainstream. She is the senior cultural broker, and one of the first qualified Aboriginal Health Workers in the Northern Territory. She will be always recognised as a founding mother of Akeyulerre.

Jane Vadiveloo

Jane Vadiveloo is a founder of Akeyulerre. Led by the vision of senior custodians, inspired by local knowledge systems, and committed to fundamental human rights, Jane opened conversation with Aboriginal people in the region, which led to Akeyulerre. As a psychologist working with graphic and devastating trauma, she worked with Arrernte people to establish Akeyulerre as a fundamental response to that trauma, through the celebration and practice of cultural knowledge. She continues as a key strategic consultant, and holder of the vision of the Elders.