CAPS - Wongutha

Contact Details: 

Gibson East Road
GIBSON  WA  6448
PO Box 101
GIBSON   WA  6448
ph:   (08) 9075 4011
fax:  (08) 9075 4019

Principal:  Mr Shane Meyer
Chairperson: Miss Jennifer Nettle

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Established on the site of Wongutha Christian Training Centre located 28 kilometres north of Esperance, responsibility for establishing a year 11 and 12 vocational  boarding school was taken by the CAPS Board in February 1990.

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Physical Setting: 

The Wongutha CAPS School is a boarding school at Gibson, about 20kms North of Esperance in Western Australia. The school caters 72 for Year 11 and 12 Indigenous students who wish to pursue vocational studies in a caring Christian environment. The school is sited on a farm and all students are involved in training in some form of land care or agriculture.


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The Community: 

The community - On the school property there are 7 staff houses which are occupied by Indigenous school staff and Hostel staff, creating a close-knit, like-minded community.  The School Chaplain resides in the Community and also Pastors the Wongutha Christian Fellowship.

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Cross Cultural Initiatives: 

Each year Wongutha endeavours to provide graduating students with the opportunity to participate in a cross-cultural missions trip. In recent times students have visited Londua Technical College on the island of Ambae in Vanuatu.  The lifestyle is very different there with limited running water, restricted electricity supply and no flushing toilets.  Studnets were able to support the people there by participating in builidng projects, painting and other activities.  This year graduating students are travelling to Malaysia to support in the work of Operation Mobilisation with the Lutheran Church ministry to the Orang Asli (Senoi).

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Wongutha is owned and managed by an Aboriginal Board who have developed a vocational education program to accommodate the specific needs of Aboriginal students. CAPS (Christian Aboriginal Parent-directed School Inc) also manage the CAPS school in Coolgardie and the Kurrawang school near Kalgoorlie.  Most of the Board members have family connections with the Mt Margaret Mission era and value hightly their Christian heritage, sound educational background and work ethic gained from this era.

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The school's program which is specifically designed to accommodate the needs of Indigenous students, is a mixture of 'Curriculum Council', VET and 'school based' courses.  CAPS Wongutha is also a fully integrated co-education boarding school catering for post-compulsory aged students.

The school curriculum is flexible and able to respond to the training requirements for changing employment situations for Aboriginal students. All students are intensively prepared for work through Certificate 1 in Work Education, and then involved in a work experience (Structured Workplace Learning) program. Students in the program are supported by WL mentors.

Courses include Curriculum Council and school-based vocational courses. Vocational courses in the following industry areas are offered:

  • Certificate 1 in Construction CPC10111
  • Certificate 1 in AgriFood Operations (Stock & Station) AHC10210
  • Certificate 1 in Metals and Engineering MEM10105
  • Certificate 1 in Tourism (Australian Indigenous Culture) SIT10107
  • Certificate 1 in Automotive Servicing AUR10105A
  • Certificate 1 in Conservation and Land Management AHC10110
  • Certificate 1 in Business Services BSB10107
  • Certificate 1 in Work Education
  • Certificate 1 in Outdoor Recreation SIS20210

Curriculum Council and School-based Subjects available:

  • English - EALD 1A/1B, 1C/1D
  • Mathematics - PD, 1A/1B, Workplace Mathematics
  • Work-place Learning (Employability Skills) WL2
  • Agriculture (Animal or Plant Production and Enterprise)


  • Bible
  • NALP - National Accelerated Literacy Program
  • CALM Bush Rangers
  • Driver Training - we deliver Keys for Life and assist students through the Graduated Driver Training and Licensing System (GDT&L), with high priority for all students turning 17.

Aboriginal School-based Traineeships (ASBTs)

Students who complete a year at Wongutha, passing a VET certificate and a Work Placement are able to continue their studies and further their work training by undertaking an Aboriginal School-based Traineeship. They receive paid employment for two full days a week, undergo a Certificate 2 in either Agriculture, Business, Hospitality or Aged Care and are intensively mentored as they progress through the Driver Training program and St Johns Ambulance Senior Lifesaving Certificate.

In 2012, 7 students are undertaking  ASBTs.

Work Training Program

A major focus of the school is preparation for employment and further training through a very successful work placement program.

Students are involved in an intensive work preparation course which includes:

  • Certificate 1 in Work Education
  • Fire safety (levels one to three)
  • St Johns First Aid (Basic Life Support) qualification
  • Occupational Health and Safety and
  • general work preparation.

Each student, on completion of Cert 1 in Work Education, can begin a Work Experience placement in Esperance.  The student’s mentor finds a placement for the student and visits the workplace to ensure that the work placement is proceeding satisfactorily for both the employer and the student. The student receives a high level of support from the mentor.

While completing 120 hours of Structured Work Placement, students are assessed in a number of skill and attitude areas in order to pass the Curriculum Council Year 11 Working Learning (WL2) subject. Students who are undergoing Driver Training are also able to gain experience by driving in town on this day.

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Physical Resource: 

Wongutha has the following facilities to assist with the delivery of the vocational courses.

  • Buildings
    4 large General Purpose Learning Area, 6 small teaching areas, computer laboratory, library, mechanics workshop, a metals workshop, construction workshop, plant-operator workshop, a large sport stadium, hospitality and conference room, multi-purpose centre/chapel, school administration and staff offices, 2 brand new boarding hostels and associated buildings.
  • Business Certificate
    30+ personal computers, laptops, 3 interactive whiteboards and access to fully operating office faciliteis
  • Tourism
    Visitors centre and Hospitality area
  • Agriculture, Stock and Station
    Access to fully operating farm, aquaculture and poultry facilities, cattle stud, sheep herd, 2  4-wheeler motorbikes, 2x twin-cab utes
  • Mechanics Workshop
    Equipped workshop, hoist etc
  • Metals
    Metals Fabrication workshop
  • Building
    Woodwork area and machine shop
  • Plant Operator Training
    Equipped machinery shed, Ford front end loader backhoe, Volvo 8 tonne tipper, bobcat
  • Medical
    School Nurse Clinic (Completed August 2012)

The Hostels

In 2010 two new hostel buildings catering for 72 students, were opened with up-to-date recreational and boarding facilities:  games room, gymnasium, home movie theatre, kitchen, reverse-cycle air conditioning and security systems.


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Wongutha CAPS caters for 72 years 11 and 12 boarders. The whole educational program is vocationally directed; with few general subjects and no TEE subjects offered.

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School Aims 

Teaching Conditions: 

Teaching staff include a mix of teachers, Trainer and Assessors and AIEOs. Many indigenous staff are employed in the school and hostel to ensure that students are supporeted by a sympathetic environment.

  • Teachers
  • Trade Teachers
  • 2 Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers
  • Administration
  • Grounds Staff
  • Hostel Staff
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Working in our school 

School Community Agreement: 
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