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arrerntemoji - anwerne-akerte // team

Indigemoji is a collective of artists, linguists, creative technologists and young people who first came together in 2018 to create an Arrernte set of emoji reflecting the traditional language of Mparntwe/Tyuretye in Central Australia. We come together every now and then to explore how some of the oldest languages in the world with some of the newest can be woven together

🗣 emoji bosses​, linguists and translation

Veronica Perrurle Dobson is a senior Arrernte leader, educator, author, linguist and ecologist born at Arltunga, north-east of Mparntwe. Instrumental in establishing Eastern Arrernte as a written language, she co-authored the Eastern Arrernte Dictionary as well as books on botany, kin and skin. She develops curriculum resources to teach Aboriginal languages in schools and works in environmental management.

Kathleen Kemarre Wallace is a senior Eastern Arrernte woman, storyteller and painter. She was raised traditionally in the bush at Uyetye, travelling with her family around the homelands attending ceremonies, collecting foods and caring for the landscape. She knows more than 150 names for different winds that move across her country.

Joel Perrurle Liddle has family ties to the Uremerne, Mparntwe/Tyuretye and Irlpme estates. Joel is a researcher and PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne focusing on the importance of Central Australian religion, social structures, intellect and language in improving mental health outcomes for young men in the region. He believes projects like indigemoji are important in encouraging Arrernte people like him who grew up not speaking their language to become fluent, and ensure Arrernte language remains strong for generations to come.

With Amelia Turner, Shirley Turner, Stephen Kernan and Shanta Turner.

✍🏾  artists

Graham Wilfred Jnr is an artist, designer and musician born in Katherine. He was raised in foster care in Darwin before moving to Alice Springs. Since then he has studied visual arts at Batchelor Institute and exhibited at Parrtjima Festival. Through his work with Indigemoji, he worked at inDigiMOB as a Digital Mentor at Alice Springs Public Library before beginning new study in streaming media.


Emma Stubbs is a Yankunytjatjara artist and designer from Amata on the APY Lands of South Australia, now living in Alice Springs. When she's not pursuing her creative practice, she works with young families and does everything she can to guide her beloved South Alice Springs Football club to victory.


Phillip McCorrmack is an Arrernte/Pintupi artist based in Alice Springs. He studied visual art at Batchelor College, has exhibited at Parrtjima Festival and has developed large-scale murals around Mparntwe.

Dave Wells is the Creative Director at Ramen, a full service agency from Sydney. When Dave wandered into the Alice Springs Public Library and started working with our artists we couldn't believe our luck. With a background dealing in all things creative, Dave is proud to be able to use his skills in Illustration to assist the Indigemoji project coming to life, and learn more about Central Australia and its culture.

With Colleen Powell, Wyona Palmer, Dion Beasley, Benita Clements, Ricky Connick Jakamara, Lindsey Matthews and Elliat Rich.

📲  app / developers

Leigh Harris is a Cairns-based Aboriginal business owner and serial entrepreneur with traditional connections to the Kanolu people of Central Queensland and Gungarri people of South East Queensland who is also proud of his Italian and Welsh heritage. Leigh has been active in the design and digital creative space for over 20 years and runs Ingeous Studios, a multidisciplinary design studio.

With Sam Lavigne, Mod and Sol1.

🙃  producer

Caddie Brain is a creative technologist, producer and audio maker who has spent the last decade living and working in the Northern Territory. She’s managed / curated exhibitions and public programs at the Northern Territory Library and Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory after many years with ABC Radio and has a Master in Applied Cybernetics. She’s produced exhibitions, twitter bots, augmented reality audio tours, bilingual audio works.

🤓  geek in residence

The emoji workshops were run in partnership with the Geek in Residence program that began in 2017 in response to the increasing numbers of young people spending time at the Alice Springs Public Library providing exploratory access to technology and design, music, video, social media and photo apps. Established by the Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service with Matt D’Penguin, the geek team grew to include youth workers, illustrators and artists, including Else Kennedy, Lindsey Matthews and Pathi Raj, and managed by Alice Goddard. The program ended in 2020.


🎧  audio

Joel Liddle Perrurle, Veronica Dobson Perrurle, Kathleen Wallace Kemarre and the Year 9 students at the Alice Springs Language Centre/Centralian Middle School: Ada Watson, Johnien Furber, Tyrell Martin, Shakira Richards, Lawrence Squires, Shalaylee Coombes, Shonneille Craig, Jenaya Newchurch, Wendelle Miller Kruger with thanks to David Moore and Jannette McCormack.

🙏 with thanks


Northern Territory Government, Johnston Foundation, inDigiMOB, Alice Springs Public Library, Clare Fisher, Jessie Bartlett, Ben Smede, Sonja Peter, Harold Thomas, Beth Sometimes, Tega Brain, Libby Leahy, Brendan Phelan, Blair McFarland, Thea McDiarmid, Elliat Rich and James Young at Elbow Workshop, Sarah Brown, Elizabeth Oolodoodi and Purple House, Suzie Warrick, Fiona Walsh, Ruth McMillan, Tangentyere Artists, Emma Murray, Tamalyn Hanson, Red Centre Technology, David Moore, Cy Starkman, Andrew Lau, Robele Yishake and Iltja Ntjarra / Many Hands Art Centre.

This project was made on Arrernte Country in Mparntwe and Gimuy-walubarra yidi Country. It was made possible by funding and support from the Northern Territory Government, Indigimob, a partnership between First Nations Media Australia and Telstra, the Alice Springs Public Library and the Johnston Foundation.

akaltyele anthetyeke awetyeke - anwerne-akerte // team

🕹 game co-designers


The Year 10 Arrernte class at Centralian Senior College - Delisha Malthouse, Megan Baliva, Agnes Saunders, Tanisha Davis, Alana Abbott, Amarlie Briscoe, Siobhan Breaden, Jeremiah Daniels-Pepperill, Tracyn Forrester, Kyle Maidment, Thomas Tambling, Bricarny Forrester, Miru Forrester, Emmanisha Nelson, Ella Fitz, Kaleel Ross, Lilly Mentha with David Moore and Jannette McCormack.

🗣 emoji bosses, linguists and translation

Veronica Perrule Dobson, Kathleen Kemarre Wallace, Joel Perrule Liddle


🎙 sound

Warren H Williams at Left Of Elephant Sound


✍🏿 design, illustrations and media production


Graham Wilfred Jnr

🙃 production and creative technologist

Caddie Brain

👩🏻‍💻 programming and mentoring


Yining Shi


🙏 with thanks

David Moore, Jannette McCormack, Susan Moore & staff of the Alice Springs Language Centre, Daniel Shiftman, Tega Brain, Sam Lavigne, Timothy Chatwin, Kyran Smith, Kate Csillag, Brendan Phelan and the Johnston Foundation

This project was made on Arrernte Country in Mparntwe and the Lenape homelands of New York. It was supported by the Processing Foundation Fellowship 2021. 100% of stipend funds went to First Nations practitioners.

kaytetyemoji - aynanthe // team
Kaytetye Team

🗣 emoji bosses

Tommy Jangala “Walkabout” is a senior Kaytetye man. Born at Hatches Creek, his father’s country is Akalperre and his mother’s country is Kwerrkepentye. He was raised traditionally in the bush and worked as a stockman throughout much of his life. He has been involved in Kaytetye language work for many years and features on the audio of the Kaytetye Learner’s Guide. Tommy lives at Ankweleyelengkwe Outstation on his traditional lands. 


Phillip Janima’s father’s country is Akalperre (he is Tommy’s son) and his mother’s country is Arnerre, a Kaytetye country north-west of Barrow Creek. He was involved in the Arrkantele TV series, a children’s language learning show. Philip provided the audio for the emoji app and translated Tommy’s Kaytetye. Philip spends his time in both Alice Springs and Ankweleyelengkwe Outstation.


Valentine Shaw’s father’s country is Akalperre and on her mother’s side she is Anmatyerr from Arrwek. Valentine lives in Alice Springs. She is an experienced teacher, and currently works as a history teacher at St Philip’s College. She has a Bachelor of Education. Valentine is passionate about Aboriginal languages and keeping Kaytetye alive. She spends time on country learning from her grandfather. She contributed artwork for the emojis and provided audio for the app.

Glorianna Moketarinja is a Western Arrernte woman from Ntharia. She is of Pwerle skin group. She is married to Philip Janima. Glorianna contributed to the translation of the Arrernte emojis from the indigemoji app. She spends her time in both Alice Springs and Ankweleyelengkwe Outstation.

✍🏾  artists

Kathleen Rambler’s father’s country is Akalperre (she is Tommy’s daughter) and her mother’s country is Arnerre. Kathleen spent her childhood in the Barrow Creek and Utopia regions. She is a well-known artist and contributed artwork for the emojis and the Kaytetye website. Kathleen now lives at Ampilatwatja, her husband’s country, and her art can be purchased from Artists of Ampilatwatja.

April Phillips is a Wiradjuri-Scottish woman of the Galari peoples of NSW. A digital artist and youth mentor April is passionate about computer art for a new world. 

With Rebecca Harnish, Dave Wells, Valentine Shaw and emojis developed by the Arrerntemoji art team: Graham Wilfred Jnr, Emma Stubbs, Dion Beasley, Phillip McCormack, Benita Clements, Colleen Powell, Lindsey Matthews, Agnes Saunders, Jessie Bethune, Dustin, Lucas Jones, Lilah Shee, Ellis, Ernestine Mulkatana, Mishka Kiessling, Tarynt Stubbs, Sebastian, Shinarah Woods, Aarha, Chris Jones, Kelvin Campbell, Kaylene Nelson, Ashley Marshall, Grace Voller, Oliver Jones, Kyiesha Charles, Cherina, Vicprsha Scovie, Astrid Keaney, Abraham Lennie, Denzel Steel, Felicity Malbunka, Broadie Orr, Shakira Ken, Natasha Angus, Elizabeth Coulthard, Reshanna, Tjikiti Liddle, Harold Thomas with and Elliat Rich.

📲  app / developers

Matthew Heffernan is Luritja technologist from central Australia who has worked in various sectors from government, not for profits and private industry. He is an alumni of the School of Cybernetics at ANU, and Information Technology at CDU and is committed to ensuring that Indigenous people are up-skilled in, and don’t miss out on technological advancements, and economic development.

He is passionate about exploring the ways in which new technologies intersect with Indigenous culture and knowledge. As well as examining the ways in which culture can be expressed via emerging mediums. He also sometimes just love coding.

With Sam Lavigne, Leigh Harris, Mod and Sol1

🎧  audio

Philip Janima and Valentine Shaw provided audio for the Kaytetye words that reflect the emojis. Tommy Jangala provided example phrases. Phillip Janima, Kathleen Rambler and Myfany Turpin transcribed and translated the audio with editing from Caddie Brain.

⌨️ transcription and editing

Myfany Turpin and Bridey Lea

🙃  producers

Caddie Brain, Myfany Turpin, Bridey Lea and Joel Perrurle Liddle

🙏 with thanks

Regional Arts Australia, Arts NT, The Northern Territory Government, The University of Sydney, Australian National University, Rachel Perkins, Timothy Chatwin, Jennifer Pysden, Bao Stone catering, Red Hot Arts Central Australia and Watch This Space.

This project was made on Arrernte Country in Mparntwe. It was made possible by the Australian Government's Regional Arts Fund, which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia, The University of Sydney and was also supported by the Johnston Foundation.

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