Dr Samantha Disbray

Ph.D (Linguistics), B.A. (Hons)

Senior Researcher

I am a linguist and researcher on the Remote Education Systems (RES) Project, with the Co-operative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation. The RES project is investigating innovative education models for remote contexts, responsive to community goals and aspirations for education. My particular research interest in project is language in education and community-based learning. I am also conducting research on language in legal contexts, funded through a grant from the NT Law Society and collaborate with the Centre of Excellence, Dynamics of Languages at the Australian National University on a Warumungu language project.

I have worked in Central Australia since 1997. From 2003 – 2007 along with Indigenous researchers in Tennant Creek, I carried out a longitudinal study of early child language input and development, as part of a larger investigation of Aboriginal child language acquisition. My PhD research looked at later child language development and documented the new language variety, Wumpurrarni English, spoken in Tennant Creek. I have also worked with speakers to document the traditional language of the area, Warumungu. As the regional linguist for the NT Department of Education in Central Australia I worked for five years supporting teaching and learning Indigenous languages and English as an Additional Language or Dialect in NT schools.

LINK to hear an interview with Dr Samantha Disbray and Nadine Maloney discussing the Language and the Law project funded through the NT Law Society from ABC Radio Alice Springs - February 2015 

Research Interests

  • Innovative Education Models
  • Language & Education Policy and Practice
  • Language & the Law
  • Child Language Development
  • Contemporary & Traditional Australian and Indigenous Languages
  • Wumpurrarni English & Warumungu

Current Research Projects

  • The Indigenous Justice and Exoneration Project, with Felicity Gerry QC, LEBA, CDU.
  • The Remote Education Systems project – http://crc-rep.com/remote-education-systems
  • Language and the Law – funded by NT Law Society
  • Warumungu Language Recordings Documentation and Repatriation - in collaboration with Centre for Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, ANU

Link to Research Publications

Dr Samantha Disbray


T: +61 8 8959 5346
E: samantha.disbray@cdu.edu.au

Alice Springs, NT