Karalundi Aboriginal Education Community

Contact Details: 

Great Northern Highway, 60 km north of Meekatharra
PMB Box 6
ph: (08) 9981 2937
fax: (08) 9981 2953
e-mail: principal@karalundi.wa.edu.au
Website: www.karalundi.wa.edu.au

Principal: Mr Darrell Bottin
Chairperson: Mr Darren Farmer
Chief Executive Officer: David Cowled
Karalundi Aboriginal Education Community Inc: Mr David Cowled

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Located on the site of a former Seventh Day Adventist Mission, which closed in 1975, the current school retains strong links with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. In common with the three Christian Aboriginal Parent Directed Schools (CAPS), Karalundi operates within the context of a strong Christian ethos. It is also, like CAPS Wongutha, a co-educational boarding school.


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Physical Setting: 

Karalundi Aboriginal Education Centre (Inc.) is a school for Aboriginal students situated 60 kms north or Meekatharra, on the Great Northern Highway.

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The Community: 

Karalundi exists to EDUCATE its people for work today, EQUIP them with skills for tomorrow and INSPIRE a hope for eternity.


  • To enhance students' literacy and numeracy skills by providing them with a culturally inclusive and meaningful learning environment.
  • To provide students with opportunities and experiences to enhance their personal, social and spiritual development and preparing them for a life of work.
  • To provide a holistic Christian education in all it's forms.


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Cross Cultural Initiatives 


Karalundi is an independent parent controlled school, incorporated in 1986. An Executive Committee of 15 members (elected at an Annual General Meeting) is responsible for the yearly operation of Karalundi, for hiring of staff and faculty and for long term planning. The parents who operate the school are largely ex-Karalundi students. They are Seventh-Day Adventist, and require that Karalundi be operated with the ethos of the Seventh-Day Adventist faith. All staff are required to exhibit exemplary Christian standards before the students, and uphold the Christian ethos.

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Educational Program:

The 'Accelerated Literacy' (AL) Program is implemented across all grades K-12. This is supported by Consultants from the Aboriginal Independent Community Schools' Support Unit, which provides teacher training and ongoing professional development.

The school has developed a 'Whole School Scheme' in which all the teaching and learning activities are planned to assist in the achievement of the outcomes from the Western Australian Curriculum Framework. Literacy and numeracy is taught explicitly using the AL program as a basis for literacy and the New Wave Maths as the basis for the numeracy program.

Other learning areas are taught via integrated units planned within the Whole School Scheme, ensuring each of the outcomes from the Curriculum Framework are addressed.


High School (9-12)

Literacy and numeracy are explicitly taught as per the primary program. However, the High School students participate in Vocational programs each afternoon, preparing them for a life of work. T Some of the skill areas they gain experience in are as follows: Farming, Mechanics, Building, Hospitality, Gardens and Ground.


KOPE is an adventure based learning program also known as outdoor education and is used to build confidence and skills for the students at Karalundi. It places the students in an unfamiliar environment, facing unfamiliar challenges, which are safe and well supported by trained staff. By overcoming these challenges, students are able to develop their sense of self esteem, learn to trust others and develop skills in communication, team work, problem solving and goal setting. More information about the program is available at the school.

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Physical Resource: 

The facilities at Karalundi were originally built as a Seventh-Day Adventist Mission which operated until 1974. Many new buildings and facilities have been built recently, giving Karalundi an excellent focus for the future. Most homes are built from rammed earth, fully air conditioned and very comfortable. Plans to extend and improve the range of housing, particularly for single staff are currently under way.

Rent charges are reasonable and include gas, electricity and water. The community has it's own 24-hour power and provides excellent drinking water. The environment is typically outback, with quite a few places of interest for those who like the bush, and also some opportunities for prospecting. Basic supplies are available at reasonable prices at Karalundi store, and there is a supermarket at Meekatharra. The community is a pleasant place with spacious lawns and good shade trees.


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It is a co-educational school catering for students K – 12. All students at the school are boarders. Students are housed in dormitories. Students are resident only during the school term and return to their communities for holiday periods.

  • K-3 class
  • 4-6 class
  • 7-8 class (middle school)
  • High School boys' class
  • High School girls' class

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School Aims 

Teaching Conditions 

Working in our school: 

Working at a remote school offers many opportunities to develop, both professionally and personally. The concept of ‘remoteness’ brings with it a uniqueness that most people never get to experience. For me, it has contributed greatly in building my resilience because it provides for the opportunity to be independent from family, friends and, at times, professional support. This independence forced me to solve problems for myself and in the process developed my confidence in many areas of life. Many people who live in remote locations are ‘interesting’ to say the least. Much can be learned from people who have not been affected by our busy, mainstream manner of living.
All in all, living and working in a remote school adds another dimension to our own world experience.

Anne Tonkin
PRINCIPAL - Karalundi Aboriginal Education Community

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School Community Agreement: 
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