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Language Officer - East Pilbara

Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa
  • Full time permanent

Overview of the role:

This is an exciting opportunity for a language worker to use their skills and experience to further develop the KJ Language Program in line with Martu strategic priorities. We are looking for a creative, highly organised and adaptable person who will invest time into building strong personal relationships with Martu individuals and communities and work to develop an understanding of Martu culture, aspirations and values. 

The KJ Language Officer will work within the Country and Culture team to design and deliver activities as part of the Language Program.  They will also work collaboratively across the organisation playing an integral role in providing inter program support across KJ’s suite of programs including the Ranger Program, Families Program and Social Programs.   

KJ is a community development organisation, and the Language Officer must work in alignment with our approach taking a practical, robust and evidenced based approach to language maintenance. The Language Officer must be both knowledgeable and experienced in the technical aspects of linguistics but also be down to earth, relatable and comfortable getting their hands dirty designing and delivering on the ground language activities.

KJ operates in a cross-cultural context, with a mix of Martu and non-Martu staff. The Language Officer will take a natural leadership role in championing effective cross-cultural communication working internally and with partner organisations to support a complementary approach to mainstream and traditional Martu ways of communicating. 

Objective of the role:  

  1. Program design and delivery: Assess KJ’s language activities in line with the KJ language strategy and develop a structured and researched approach to delivering and evaluating the language program.
  2. Capacity building:  Coordinate activities that build the skills and confidence of Martu and other KJ staff to understand and use Martu Wangka.  
  3. Cross cultural understanding: Encourage greater understanding of Martu ways of communicating and take an approach that complements traditional styles and domains of communication.
  4. Community development: Take an active, community development approach to language maintenance that supports KJ’s goals and Martu aspirations.

About KJ

“KJ is working with Martu to build strong, sustainable communities”.

Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) is an established, successful and highly regarded Indigenous organisation based in the Eastern Pilbara town of Newman.  It has been operating as an independent Martu company for 13 years and works in the remote communities of Jigalong, Parnngurr, Punmu and Kunawarritji.

KJ is focused on three complementary objectives:

  • To support Martu to look after culture and country.
  • To build a viable economy in Martu communities; and
  • To build pathways for young Martu to a healthy future.

To do so, KJ delivers a suite of social, cultural, environmental and economic programs.  It has a strong reputation for engaging and supporting Martu in successfully delivering these programs and is the biggest employer of Martu in the region.

KJ staff are passionate, creative, committed and resourceful in the design and implementation of programs and activities, in partnership with Martu. Building these partnerships require KJ staff to be adaptive, consultative and it demands the ability to listen to, understand and respect Martu views and attitudes.  

For more information about KJ, its mission and background visit the KJ website www.kj.org.au.


The position will be based in Newman, Western Australia but will require a significant amount of time spent out on country and in communities and will be expected to provide support to on country trips.  This is a unique and rewarding opportunity to work in partnership with Martu to help ensure the longevity and esteem of Martu’s rich oral tradition.


A remuneration package consisting of a base salary plus superannuation, commensurate with the skills and experience of the successful applicant, will be negotiated. 

The position has generous conditions including rent and phone, salary packaging of allowable pre-tax earnings and annual leave.

Selection Criteria

  • Current Federal Police Check or ability to obtain.
  • Current WA Working with Children Check or ability to obtain.
  • Current WA manual driver’s license.
  • Tertiary qualifications and/or significant experience in linguistics or delivering language work.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills including the ability to engage effectively with Martu, other staff and external stakeholders.
  • Sound administrative skills and competency in the use of computers and Microsoft Office.
  • The capacity and willingness to travel to remote communities, at times camping with teams on-country.
  • Four-wheel drive/off road experience.

Please contact Jodie Rowell at jrowell@hmsolutions.com.au, using the subject line: Language Officer - East Pilbara enquiry via EthicalJobs, for further information or to request an application pack.

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