Ben van Gelderen


PhD Candidate

Ben van Gelderen is a Lecturer in Education; Co-ordinator of the Growing Our Own project at CDU. This innovative program is a joint partnership with the Catholic Education Office Northern Territory for remote, Indigenous Initial Teacher Education (ITE).
Ben began working life in the legal field but much preferred passing on his love of literature and language to high school students. He has worked as an English teacher, Chaplain, Teacher/Linguist, EAL/D consultant and Curriculum Advisor in Independent and Catholic schools across NSW and NT.

PhD Project Title

Gäwa Christian School: a ‘best of both worlds’ multidisciplinary history.

Research Interests

  • History and impact of Missionary movement in remote, Indigenous communities.
  • Yolŋu ‘bothways’ philosophy of education
  • Yolŋu language revitalisation programs
  • History of pre-Macassan contact in Arnhem Land


Professor Ruth Wallace, Principal Supervisor (Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University)
Right Reverend Dr. Greg Anderson (Bishop, Anglican Church Northern Territory)
Ms. Kathy Guthadjaka (Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University)

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Publications & Resources

Journal Articles

van Gelderen, B., & Guthadjaka, K. (2017). The Warramiri Website: applying an alternative Yolŋu epistemology to digital development. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 12(14).  DOI 10.1186/s41039-017-0052-x

van Gelderen, B. (2017). Growing Our Own: A ‘two way’ place-based approach to Indigenous initial teacher education in remote Northern Territory. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 27(1), 14–28.

Conference Papers

van Gelderen, B. (2016, September). Growing Our Own: A ‘two way’ place-based approach to Indigenous initial teacher education in remote Northern Territory. Paper presented at the Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia (SPERA) Conference, Mackay.

van Gelderen, B. (2016, November). Growing Our Own: a two-way approach to teacher education. Paper presented at the Indigenous Leadership Conference, Darwin.

van Gelderen, B. (2017, April). Building bridges Bothways, not Closing Gaps: success in remote Indigenous education in the Northern Territory through Growing Our Own. Paper presented at Organization Studies: Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organizations, Darwin.

van Gelderen, B. (2017, September). A Yolŋu ‘Bothways’ approach to English and Warramiri literacy at Gäwa. Paper presented at Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) Conference, Darwin.

van Gelderen, B. (2017, October). Really researching bilingual education: Realist and Yolŋu methodologies intersect at Gäwa. Paper presented at International Conference for Realist Research, Evaluation and Synthesis Conference, Brisbane.

Ben van Gelderen


T: 0481 065 008

Darwin, NT