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Our Remote Schools

Aboriginal Catholic Community Schools (ACCS)

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

The education of Indigenous students is, and has always been, a high priority since the earliest days of the Catholic Church presence in the NT.

Our history shows a continuing commitment of resources, both personal and financial, to Indigenous education.

Living and working in a remote Aboriginal community can be an extremely rewarding experience; for many teachers a major highlight of their faith journey and personal and professional lives.

A continuing commitment to Aboriginal Education

More than 1,000 Indigenous students are enrolled in our five Aboriginal Catholic Community Schools (ACCS) and three homeland centres in remote communities in the Northern Territory. The education of Aboriginal students is, and has always been, a high priority since the earliest days of the Catholic Church's presence in the NT. Our history shows a continuing commitment of resources, both personal and financial, to Aboriginal education.

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OLSH Thamarrurr Catholic College - Wadeye

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH) Thamarrurr Catholic College teaches from the very young in its Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program through to Year 12. The School uses a bilingual approach teaching the first years of school primarily in Murrinhpatha.

The secondary school program includes both SACE and the Northern Territory Employment Pathways Curriculum.

Our Religious Education Program is taught in Murrinhpatha to enhance students’ knowledge of the Catholic Faith, this includes school masses and the preparation for sacraments. By concentrating on student’s strengths we encourage all to strive to achieve their full potential.

COMMUNITY

Wadeye pronounced “wad-ayer” was formerly known (and is still often referred to) as Port Keats has a population of 2,800 which makes it the 6th most populous town, and the largest indigenous community in the Northern Territory.

Murrinhpatha is the main language spoken. There are 22 clans residing in Wadeye. The traditional owners are the Kardu Diminin people.

HISTORY

Port Keats was originally set up as a Catholic Mission in 1935. OLSH Thamarrurr Catholic School started with the mission and was moved to its current location in 1970.

The school was conducted by sisters from the Order of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. The Christian Brothers also had a strong presence in education in the community.

In 1978 it became a school under the direction of the Catholic Education Office.

In 1979 when the Northern Territory became self-governing, the school was founded under a special agreement with the NT Government as one of the 5 ‘mission schools’.

LANGUAGE GROUPS

Murrinhpatha

English is also used

ACCESS

Located 400km south west of Darwin by 4WD road accessible by a dirt Road open only during dry season.

You can fly twice daily into Wadeye from Darwin Airport. Most flights cost from $300 each way. Contact Murrin at their website.ttp://www.murintravel.com

There is a weekly barge service to the community by two separate operators.

WEATHER FACTS

Temperatures range from lows of 14.5 degrees during nights, with 30 degrees during the day and in the dry season to highs of 34 degrees in the wet season.

Annual Rainfall is 1432mm

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Xavier Catholic College - Wurrumiyanga

Xavier Catholic College (XCCW) is located in the growth town of Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island, 70 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 Pre-School to Year Thirteen.

Xavier Catholic College (XCC) offers a coeducational education for students, years 7 to year 13

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

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

HISTORY

Wurrumiyanga (formerly named 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. Xavier College followed in 1932 and was established just as a boys’ school,

OUR COMMUNITY

The Tiwi people live on Bathurst Island and nearby Melville Island (total land mass of 2600sq Km) located 70km north of Darwin. The population is one tribe, divided into four 'skin' groups. Tiwi people who have their own language and culture.

The largest settlement located on the south east corner of Bathurst Island is Wurrumiyanga with a population of around 1,450.

The rich indigenous culture is celebrated and integrated into their strong Catholic beliefs.

Bathurst Island is also home of the TIWI BOMBERS a very successful NT AFL team. Every year the finals are held on the island.

LANGUAGE GROUPS

Tiwi

ACCESS

The islands are accessible by SEA and AIR

Regular daily air service - FLY TIWI www.flytiwi.com.au

Sealink Ferry offer scheduled services to Wurrumiyanga port. https://www.sealinknt.com.au

WEATHER FACTS

Average temperatures range from lows of 18.5 deg to 33.7 deg in the summer. Combined with an average annual rainfall is 2003mm makes for a lush tropical environment

Dec to March are the wettest months av 374mm

May to September is the dry season av just 12 mm

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Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School - Wurrumiyanga

Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic School (MCPS) is a primary school catering for boys and girls from preschool (aged 4 years) to Year 6. The school is managed by a Tiwi leadership team in consultation with the Principal.

Children at MCPS come to school speaking Tiwi. The use of English as a Second Language strategies and programs is an important underpinning feature of all curriculum areas.

The school conducts a formal Indigenous Languages and Culture program, which is delivered by Indigenous teachers and community elders through the medium of the Tiwi language.

HISTORY

The island was named after Henry Bathurst an English Earl. From 1910 to 1938 the island was the site of the Catholic mission of Francis Xavier Gsell, known as the "Bishop with 150 wives" for his practice of "buying" girls betrothed to older men, thus making it possible for them to marry men of their own age.

1912 St Therese’s School, Nguiu, Bathurst Island was founded by the OLSH Sisters. Renamed Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic School 1991 and had a Indigenous lay Principal 1997.

During the Bombing of Darwin Japanese planes were spotted by Father John McGrath, a Catholic priest who immediatly sent a message on the radio saying "An unusually large air formation bearing down on us from the northwest". Nearly everyone ignored this. About an hour later there were roughly 100 people dead, but the people who followed his instruction all survived.
Bathurst Island was depicted as Mission Island in the 2008 Baz Luhrmann film Australia.

ACCESS

Both XCCW and MCPS schools are accessible by SEA and AIR The regular daily air service - FLY TIWI. The airport is located near the community.

Sealink Ferry offer scheduled services to Wurrumiyanga port. The trip takes around 3hours and leaves from the Cullen Bay Wharf.

WEATHER FACTS

Average temperatures range from lows of 18.5 deg to 33.7 deg in the summer. Combined with an average annual rainfall is 2003mm makes for a lush tropical environment

Dec to March are the wettest months av 374mm

May to September is the dry season av just 12 mm

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St Francis Xavier Catholic School - Nauiyu

St Francis Xavier Catholic School is a vibrant Catholic school servicing the Indigenous Community at Nauiyu and nearby Wooliana.

Pre School to Year 10 with Religious Education, Literacy and Numeracy sitting at the foreground of an inclusive educational curriculum at our school.

St Francis Xavier School unites the Aboriginal way of life and Gospel values to build strong learners and future leaders.

THE COMMUNITY

Nauiyu is a remote, Aboriginal community approximately 250km south-west of Darwin in the Northern Territory. The Malak Malak people are the traditional owners of the land.

Nauiyu is set on the banks of the Daly River which winds its way around the community and it is abundant with fish, birds and wildlife. It is regarded as one of the best fishing places for catching Barramundi in Australia. Each year it hosts two fishing competitions, the "Barra Classic" and the "Barra Nationals".

HISTORY

Following a number of conflicts between the Malak Malak people and local miners in 1891 to 1899, Nauiyu mission was one of three sites set up by the Jesuits along the Daly River.

The second Catholic mission was started by Bishop John O'Loughlin MSC in 1955.

The school was established by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in 1956.

The area was chosen because it was close to the river and central to surrounding clans, tribes, and cattle stations. Daly River Mission was later given the name Nauiyu. The community is now run by the Victoria Daly Shire Council.

There are ten different language groups within the Daly River region with Ngan’gikurunggurr and Kriol being the most prominent.

LANGUAGE GROUPS

Ngan’gikurunggurr,

Kriol

ACCESS

Accessible all year round by tar sealed road

WEATHER FACTS

Average rainfall 2000 mm.

Temperature range 18 to 39 degrees.

Average Temp. 33

Flooding common in Wet Season

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Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School - Santa Teresa

Ltyentye Apurte Catholic School (LACS) has an enrolment of 130 students from Pre-School to Year 12, the school has small class sizes and features specialist facilities such as a community library, workshop and visual arts and hospitality rooms. Every classroom has access to the Internet and there are PCs, laptops, iPads and Interactive Whiteboards throughout the school.

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 LACS.

There are 49 staff at the school, 28 of whom are Aboriginal. Teachers work as members of a team in partnership with local Aboriginal people and Arrernte Assistant Teachers and tutors. Staff also live in close proximity to each other and the school. The standard of accommodation is good.

COMMUNITY

Santa Teresa is an Aboriginal Community of approximately 500 people belonging to the Eastern Arrernte people. The people speak fluent Arrernte and use English as their second language. Ltyentye Apurte (pronounced 'L-Ginger Porter') means 'clump of beefwood trees' in the Arrernte language.

HISTORY

Santa Teresa was founded as a Mission in 1953 by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and the OLSH Sisters who relocated from the Little Fower mission at Artulnga. The school is governed by the Catholic Education Centre, Diocese of Darwin. It is a member of Marist Schools Australia.

LANGUAGE GROUPS

Arrernte

ACCESS

The community is located 83 km southeast of Alice Springs, in semi-desert country.

There is year round access via a largely unsealed road.

WEATHER

Temperatures are extreme, ranging from -2 to 46 degrees.

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View the list of Urban and Remote Schools directory for more information.

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