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Aboriginal Communities

The education of Aboriginal students is and has always been a high priority.

More than 1,000 Aboriginal students are enrolled in our five Aboriginal Catholic Community Schools (ACCS) and three homeland centres in remote communities in the Northern Territory.

Our history shows that there has been a continuing commitment of resources, both personal and financial, to Aboriginal education.

Aboriginal Education Workers Professional Learning Network

The Aboriginal Education Workers (AEWs) are a fantastic and vibrant group of Aboriginal people who work to support both the Aboriginal students enrolled in our urban schools and non-Aboriginal students as they develop an understanding of the richness and depth of culture and diversity of our Aboriginal communities.

At network meetings the AEWs share stories as they support each other in their work and explore ways to support our Aboriginal students and their families as they participate in the lives of our schools.

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Our Communities

Ltyentye Apurte Community Education Centre - Santa Teresa

Ltyentye Apurte Community Education Centre is a Catholic School situated in Santa Teresa, an Aboriginal settlement of 800 people belonging to the Eastern Arrernte people. The Aboriginal people speak fluent Arrernte and use English as their second language.

The community is located 80 km southeast of Alice Springs, in semi-desert country. Temperatures are extreme, ranging from –2 to 46 degrees and there is year round access via an unsealed road.

The school is now known as Ltyentye Apurte Community Education Centre (LACEC) and is governed by the Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Darwin and the Marist Brothers. ‘Ltyentye Apurte’ means ‘clump of beefwood trees’ in the Arrernte language.

There are 35 staff at the school, 20 of whom are Aboriginal. With an enrolment of 145 students from preschool to Year 10, the school has small class sizes and features specialist facilities including a community library, manual arts, visual arts, pottery, and home economics.

The school buildings and staff housing have been recently refurbished and the well-resourced classrooms feature interactive whiteboards and computers to support student learning.

English is the second or third language of most students at the school and the Arrernte language and cultural program is a key part of the curriculum at LACEC. Teachers work as a member of a teaching team in partnership with local Aboriginal people and committed Arrernte assistant teachers and tutors.

LACEC offers a post-primary senior pathways program and also takes part in projects of national significance including, Growing Our Own (GOO), Leading Aligned Numeracy Development (LAND) and Strong Foundations. The school also has high student attendance rates (80%) and a successful literacy program showing significant student progress.

With a full-time curriculum support teacher and a school/community liaison officer, LACEC offers a student nutrition program providing breakfast and lunch for students and a student tutorial program out of hours.

School Hours:

Winter

8:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 3:00pm

Friday - 12:00pm finish

Summer

8:00am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 3:00pm

Friday - 12:00pm finish

Teaching & Learning

  • Teachers work closely with an Aboriginal assistant teacher who knows and understands the students, families and their relationships
  • Both teachers and assistant teachers bring a range of skills in a spirit of active and mutual participation in the teaching and learning process
  • ‘Learning Together’ sessions are on-site meetings where staff learn and plan in a cooperative group providing opportunities to develop teaching skills and to gain or share knowledge about cross-cultural situations and the school curriculum
  • All students learn using English as a second or additional language. Teachers are provided with introductory and ongoing support for teaching ESL
  • Religious Education is a key priority for Aboriginal people in Aboriginal Catholic Community Schools
  • Professional Learning is provided for teachers to deliver school designated approaches to literacy and numeracy

Community Facilities

  • Well equipped store—groceries, general items and fuel
  • Shire office and Government Business Centre
  • Police Station with night patrol
  • Commonwealth Bank agency and ATM
  • Post Office
  • Centrelink office
  • Health Clinic with doctor attending four days per week
  • Mechanic Workshop
  • Next G mobile and wireless internet coverage
  • Television and radio coverage
  • Swimming Pool and sport and recreational activities program
  • Annual sports carnival, horse racing and Finke Desert Race
  • Football Club
  • Famous Keringke Arts Centre
  • Santa Teresa is a dry community– no alcohol

Teacher Benefits

  • Paid removal costs and storage costs for two years
  • Airfares for you and your family
  • Vehicle delivery costs
  • Salary packaging
  • Special teaching allowance for all teachers and a district allowance paid to employees with dependants
  • Free health care and remote tax benefits
  • Free housing in a range of 1 to 3 bedroom furnished units and houses with most contents provided
  • Free electricity, gas, water and contents insurance
  • Food freight costs reimbursed
  • Special study leave arrangements and access to the Study Incentives Program
  • Laptop computer supplied
  • 10 days sick leave and 10 days personal leave per year
  • Portable long service leave
  • One day per term for private business
  • Two FOILS per year– travel and accommodation
Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School - Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island

Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School (MCPS) is located at Wurrumiyanga, on Bathurst Island, about 70 km West of Darwin. Wurrumiyanga is an Aboriginal community of 1600 people. They are one people, the Tiwi, divided into four skin groups.

The Tiwi people are the traditional owners of the land on which the Wurrumiyanga Township is situated. Wurrumiyanga was founded as a Catholic mission by Bishop Gsell in 1911 but the community is now run by the Tiwi Islands Shire Council. The Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart established the school in 1911, originally known as St. Therese’s school, for girls only.

MCPS has a combined staff of forty two, thirty of whom are Aboriginal. Of these, there are approximately sixteen Indigenous staff who work as teachers, assistant teachers, literacy workers and ancillary staff. Current enrolment is over two hundred and forty, catering for girls and boys from preschool to year six.

The use of English as a Second Language strategies is an important underpinning feature of all curriculum areas. The school conducts a formal Aboriginal Languages and Culture program which is delivered by Aboriginal teachers and community elders through the medium of the Tiwi language. There is also a Literature Production Centre for language resource production and this also serves as a cultural link between school and community. MCPS has also taken part in projects of national significance, including Growing Our Own, Leading Aligned Numeracy Development and Strong Foundations.

The school boasts a number of new and refurbished classrooms, administration areas and facilities, including interactive whiteboards and computer lab. It also offers a student nutrition program, providing breakfast, morning tea and lunch for all students.

Teaching & Learning

  • Teachers work closely with an Indigenous assistant teacher who knows and understands the students, families and their relationships
  • Both teachers and assistant teachers bring a range of skills in a spirit of active and mutual participation in the teaching and learning process
  • ‘Learning Together’ sessions are on-site meetings where staff learn and plan in a cooperative group providing opportunities to develop teaching skills and to gain or share knowledge about cross-cultural situations and the school curriculum
  • All students learn using English as a second or additional language. Teachers are provided with introductory and ongoing support for teaching ESL
  • Religious Education is a key priority for Indigenous people in Indigenous Catholic Community Schools
  • Professional Learning is provided for teachers to deliver school designated approaches to literacy and numeracy

Community Facilities

  • Church and resident priest
  • Well equipped store - groceries, general items
  • Eftpos and ATM facilities
  • Take away shops - two
  • Shire office
  • Manned police station
  • Post Office
  • Centrelink Office
  • Health clinic - two full time doctors
  • Creche/childcare
  • Mechanical workshop and fuel outlet
  • Next G mobile and wireless internet coverage
  • Television and radio coverage
  • Swimming pool and sport and recreational activities program
  • Arts and Cultural Centres - three
  • All weather airstrip
  • Excellent fishing
  • Licenced club

Teacher Benefits

  • Paid removal costs and storage costs for two years
  • Airfares for you and your family
  • Vehicle delivery costs
  • Salary packaging
  • Special teaching allowance for all teachers and a district allowance paid to employees with dependants
  • Free health care and remote tax benefits
  • Free housing in a range of 1 to 3 bedroom furnished units and houses with most contents provided
  • Free electricity, gas, water and contents insurance
  • Food freight costs reimbursed
  • Special study leave arrangements and access to the Study Incentives Program
  • Laptop computer supplied
  • 10 days sick leave and 10 days personal leave per year
  • Portable long service leave
  • One day per term for private business
  • Two FOILS per year– travel and accommodation
Our Lady Of The Sacred Heart Thamarrurr Catholic School - Wadeye, Port Keats

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Thamarrurr Catholic School (OLSHTCS) is located at Wadeye (Port Keats) about 400 km SW of Darwin. Wadeye is an Aboriginal community of 2500 people who come from 20 clan groups and make up three broad ceremonial groups across a broad geographical area known as the Thamarrurr region.

Thamarrurr is a term which describes the way in which senior people of the different clan groups in the region would meet periodically to preside over issues of ceremony, use of natural resources, economic transactions and minor law and justice matters.

The Kardu Diminin people are the traditional owners of the land on which the Wadeye township is situated. Wadeye was founded as a Catholic mission in 1935 by Fr. Richard Docherty MSC, originally located at Werntek Nganayi (Old Mission). The town was relocated to its current location in 1938 due to the lack of water and space for an airstrip.

In 1941 the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart sisters arrived and established a school to teach the children basic skills. OLSHTCS is the largest single employer in the community of Wadeye with over 115 staff with 35 of these being teachers. There are a high number of local indigenous staff as teachers, assistant teachers, literacy workers and ancillary staff. Current enrolment is over 700 catering for children from preschool to Year 12.

Primary and Secondary education are delivered on two campuses situated in close proximity and boasting a number of new, refurbished and proposed classrooms and facilities, including library, manual arts building, mechanical workshop, hospitality centre, science block, IT laboratory and art room.

OLSHTCS is a bilingual school where instruction in the first three years of schooling is in the student's first language, which is Murrinhpatha. The use of English as a Second Language strategies is an important underpinning feature of all curriculum areas. The school also has a Literature Production Centre for language resource production and this serves as a cultural link between school and community.

OLSHTCS offers a range of VET options and alternative pathways for secondary students and also takes part in projects of national significance including Growing Our Own, Leading Aligned Numeracy Development and Strong Foundations.

OLSHTCS also offers a student nutrition program providing breakfast, morning tea and lunch for all students.

Teaching & Learning

  • Teachers work closely with an Indigenous assistant teacher who knows and understands the students, families and their relationships
  • Both teachers and assistant teachers bring a range of skills in a spirit of active and mutual participation in the teaching and learning process
  • ‘Learning Together’ sessions are on-site meetings where staff learn and plan in a cooperative group providing opportunities to develop teaching skills and to gain or share knowledge about cross cultural situations and the school curriculum
  • All students learn using English as a second or additional language. Teachers are provided with introductory and ongoing support for teaching ESL
  • Religious Education is a key priority for Indigenous people in Indigenous Catholic Community Schools
  • Professional Learning is provided for teachers to deliver school designated approaches to literacy and numeracy

Community Facilities

  • Well equipped store — groceries, general items
  • EFTPOS and ATM facilities
  • Fruit and vegetable shop
  • Butcher
  • Takeaway shop
  • Shire office
  • Police Station with night patrol
  • Post Office -Commonwealth Bank agency
  • Centrelink office
  • Health Clinic with two doctors
  • Crèche
  • Mechanical workshop and fuel outlet
  • Next G mobile and wireless internet coverage
  • Television and radio coverage
  • Swimming Pool and sport and recreational activities program
  • Local football competition
  • Women’s Centre – screen printed material, clothing and handicrafts
  • Boat ramp

Teacher Benefits

  • Paid removal costs and storage costs for two years
  • Airfares for you and your family
  • Vehicle delivery costs
  • Salary packaging
  • Special teaching allowance for all teachers and a district allowance paid to employees with dependants
  • Free health care and remote tax benefits
  • Free housing in a range of 1 to 3 bedroom furnished units and houses with most contents provided
  • Free electricity, gas, water and contents insurance
  • Food freight costs reimbursed
  • Special study leave arrangements and access to the Study Incentives Program
  • Laptop computer supplied
  • 10 days sick leave and 10 days personal leave per year
  • Portable long service leave
  • One day per term for private business
  • Two FOILS per year– travel and accommodation
St Francis Xavier Catholic School - Nauiyu, Daly River

St Francis Xavier Catholic School was established in 1956 by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, and is located in the picturesque Daly River region of the Northern Territory, approximately 220 km SW of Darwin.

The Nauiyu Community at Daly River has approximately 500 residents from 10 different language groups. The main traditional language spoken at Daly River is Ngungi Kurunggurr, with the traditional owners of the land being the Malak Malak people. Although traditional languages are still used, the dominant language spoken today is Aboriginal English.

St Francis Xavier Catholic School caters for preschool students through to post-primary education and currently has an enrolment of 75 students. The language of instruction throughout all year levels is English. As 95% of students attending the school are Aboriginal and from a language background other than English, there is a strong emphasis on the teaching and learning of English as a second language.

The school follows the Northern Territory Curriculum Framework, in addition to providing specialised learning programs focussing on Aboriginal language and culture.

A Youth Re-engagement program is also being implemented at the school, which provides alternative programs for students who had previously left school and now wish to further their education.

The school consists of six classrooms, a computer lab, nutrition kitchen and a well resourced library. A basketball court and under cover area have recently been built and a new culture centre takes pride of place in the school grounds.

St. Francis Xavier Catholic School has also taken part in projects of national significance, including Growing Our Own, Leading Aligned Numeracy Development and Strong Foundations.

The school offers a nutrition program providing breakfast, morning tea and lunch for all students.

Teaching & Learning

  • Teachers work closely with an Indigenous assistant teacher who knows and understands the students, families and their relationships
  • Both teachers and assistant teachers bring a range of skills in a spirit of active and mutual participation in the teaching and learning process
  • ‘Learning Together’ sessions are on-site meetings where staff learn and plan in a cooperative group providing opportunities to develop teaching skills and to gain or share knowledge about cross cultural situations and the school curriculum
  • All students learn using English as a second or additional language. Teachers are provided with introductory and ongoing support for teaching ESL
  • Religious Education is a key priority for Indigenous people in Indigenous Catholic Community Schools
  • Professional Learning is provided for teachers to deliver school designated approaches to literacy and numeracy

Community Facilities

  • Church
  • Well equipped store - groceries, general items
  • EFTPOS and ATM facilities
  • Take away shop
  • Shire office
  • Police station
  • Post Office – agency banking facilities
  • Centrelink office
  • Health clinic
  • Daly River Inn hotel
  • Creche
  • Mechanical workshop and fuel outlet
  • Next G mobile and wireless internet coverage
  • Television and radio coverage
  • Swimming pool and sport and recreational activities program
  • Boat ramp
  • Arts and cultural centre
  • Annual Merrepen Arts and Sports Festival
  • All weather airstrip
  • Sealed road from Darwin
  • Excellent fishing

Teacher Benefits

  • Paid removal costs and storage costs for two years
  • Airfares for you and your family
  • Vehicle delivery costs
  • Salary packaging
  • Special teaching allowance for all teachers and a district allowance paid to employees with dependants
  • Free health care and remote tax benefits
  • Free housing in a range of 1 to 3 bedroom furnished units and houses with most contents provided
  • Free electricity, gas, water and contents insurance
  • Food freight costs reimbursed
  • Special study leave arrangements and access to the Study Incentives Program
  • Laptop computer supplied
  • 10 days sick leave and 10 days personal leave per year
  • Portable long service leave
  • One day per term for private business
  • Two FOILS per year– travel and accommodation
Xavier Catholic College - Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island

XCCW is located in the growth town of Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island, 80 kilometres north of Darwin. Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School (MCPS) and XCCW together form the Catholic Education Precinct and provide a Quality Catholic Tiwi Education for students from preschool to Year Thirteen.

Wurrumiyanga (formerly Nguiu) means ‘land of the giant cycads’ and is traditionally owned by the Tiwi people. In 1911 Bishop Gsell started a Catholic Mission and in 1912 MCPS (formerly St Therese’s Catholic School) was established. XCCW followed in 1932.

Originally established as a boys’ school, XCCW now offers a coeducational education for students from Year Seven to Year Thirteen.

Middle School students (Year Seven to Year 9) study Religious Education, Australian Curriculum English, Australian Curriculum Mathematics, Science, History, Health and Physical Education, Creative Arts (Music and Art) and Design and Technology (Woodwork and Food Technology).

Senior School students (Year 10 to Year 13) study both academic and vocational subjects to earn credits towards obtaining the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET).

Programs of Interest:  

  • Year Thirteen – a flexible course of study for students of any age to complete credits towards the NTCET
  • Japalinga Mob – a National Partnerships program targeted at improving educational outcomes through developing student capacity in the following areas: academia, sport, the arts, culture and leadership
  • Counselling for Health – a National Partnership program targeted at improving educational outcomes through improved student wellbeing
  • P – 12 – a National Partnership program targeted at improving educational outcomes through developing a seamless education precinct.
  • School Nutrition Program – a targeted program to improve educational outcomes and create employment opportunities through the provision of a well resourced nutrition program
  • Growing Our Own – a National Partnership program targeted at improving educational outcomes through developing community capacity by training Tiwi Assistant Teachers to become fully registered teachers
  • Trade Training Centre – a targeted program to improve educational outcomes through creating training opportunities in the area of Kitchen Operations and Building Construction.

Community Facilities:  

  • Church and resident priest
  • General store and take away
  • EFTPOS and ATM
  • Tiwi Island Land Council
  • Tiwi Island Shire Council
  • Police Station
  • Centrelink Office
  • Post Office
  • Health Clinic
  • Childcare / Creche  Garage / Workshop
  • Telstra Next G mobile and internet
  • All weather airport
  • Licenced club
  • Art and culture centres
  • Museum
  • Coffee shop
  • Excellent fishing and beautiful bush

Teacher Benefits:

  • Paid removal costs including limited storage
  • Airfares for you and your family
  • Vehicle delivery costs
  • Special teaching allowance
  • Remote tax benefits
  • Rent free housing
  • Food freight costs reimbursed
  • Special study leave arrangements
  • Study incentive program
  • Work laptop supplied
  • 10 days sick leave and 10 days personal leave
  • Portable long service leave
  • Business days (one per term)
  • FOIL (two per year)
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