Kulkarriya Community School

Contact Details: 

Nookanbah Station, Yungngora Community
PO Box 3
ph: (08) 9191 4737
fax: (08) 9191 4785
email: administration@kulkarriya.wa.edu.au
Principal: Mr Mike Tucker
Chairperson: Mrs Nita Cox

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Kulkarriya Community School, founded in 1978, is situated on the Noonkanbah pastoral lease which was transferred to the Yungngora Association in 1976. Kulkarriya Community School first ran classes from the Noonkanbah shearing shed following a return to the station by many of its former station workers in 1976. With initial assistance from Strelley Community School, Kulkarriya started classes in 1978. It went on to establish out-station schools at Warrimbah and Millijidee in response to people moving back to country. The school’s current operations are centered on its campus in Yungngora Community, on Noonkanbah Station.

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Physical Setting: 

pastoral station is owned by the Yungngora Association Incorporated. It is 170,000 hectares in size and is located 170 kilometres south-west of Fitzroy Crossing. The community of Yungngora consists of about 250 people and is located at the southern boundary of the station on the banks of the Fitzroy River. Access to the community is via the Calwynyardah-Noonkanbah Road, 75km south of the Great Northern Highway. Access is limited in the wet season.

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The Community: 

The school is independent and is run by the Yungngora Association. The community has a well equipped store with EFTPOS facilities. Fuel cards can be purchased from the store for use at the community bowser. Diesel and unleaded fuel are both available. The store is also an Australia Post facility. Mail is delivered by plane one day a week.

A clinic operates week days with an Aboriginal Health Worker in attendance daily. A registered nurse is in the community Monday to Thursday each week while the Royal Flying Doctor Service provides a doctor service three days per month.

A community broadcasting station operates from within the community. A Health and Aged Care (HAC) kitchen and office provides meals to the elderly. There is a community run workshop, TAFE centre and community building program. The community also runs a metal work shed, a mechanics workshop, crèche, women’s centre and tele-centre all staffed by people from within the Noonkanbah community.

The Yungngora community assists the school with sporting activities, cultural programs and the teaching of traditional languages. Sport is emphasized, as this is a significant positive social activity within the Fitzroy Valley. The Noonkanbah Blues play in the Central Kimberley AFL Competition and travel to Fitzroy Crossing each weekend for fixtures during football season.

In 1998, Noonkanbah Rural Enterprises Pty Ltd was established to operate the cattle business and has been a major focus of the self management of the station.

Native Title Determination

A major milestone in the history of Noonkanbah was its Native Title Determination which was ratified by the Federal Court at an on-country hearing at the woolshed on 27 April 2007. The consent determination followed a history of confrontation from the 1970s over land use in the area. The climax of the confrontation was the well publicised attempt by an American mining company to drill for oil at Pea Hill, a traditional sacred site for the local people. A blockade by the people of Noonkanbah at Mickey’s Pool attempted to stop the convoy of trucks resulted in a number of arrests. The drilling went ahead and no oil was found.

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Cross Cultural Initiatives: 

Lauriston Girls School

Kulkarriya Community School has developed a relationship with Lauriston Girls School in Melbourne. Students and teachers from Lauriston visit Noonkanbah each year and are involved in school activities. Kulkarriya also send students to Melbourne to visit Lauriston. The relationship is a major cross cultural initiative for both schools and a meaningful relationship has developed between both schools and their students.

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Kulkarriya Community School comes under the direction of Yungngora Association and is governed by a 100% Indigenous governing body. The school principal holds a non-voting seat on the school board. The school committee meets on a weekly basis to make decisions involved in the running of the school.

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All students in Noonkanbah speak English as a second or third language, with Kriol, Nyikina and Walmajarri languages being spoken at home. Our school follows the Western Australian Curriculum Framework though our major focuses continue to be the attainment of good literacy and numeracy skills. The school has a strong focus upon high expectations and this is supported through our school motto: "Together We Learn Together we Succeed.' The school is part of the National Accelerated Literacy Project. This highly successful methodology is taught by all teachers. The school has received recognition from the wider literacy community on some excellent progress made by the students. In 2010 the school will also begin to participate in the Reading Recovery program.

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Physical Resource: 


Our school is very well resourced. Each classroom is networked for internet access and each room has a Smartboard. The school also has a computer room, multi-purpose room (for cooking, art activities etc), library, music room and gymnasium. In 2009 the school’s undercover basketball court was officially opened, providing an undercover area for sports and teaching activities. Teaching staff have access to a wide variety of resources to assist them in their work.

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Kulkarriya Community School is registered to teach students up to year 12. In 2009, the current enrolment is 95 students, from kindy to year 10, though itinerant students add to the population seasonally. The school currently employs 6 fulltime qualified teachers, a non-teaching principal and 15 Aboriginal staff. The school consists of an early childhood area that caters for separated Kindergarten and Pre-Primary classes, a primary school that runs as a lower primary class (years 1 and 2), a middle primary class (years 3 and 4) and an upper primary class (years 5, 6 and 7). The secondary school runs as one class (years 8-12).

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School Aims 

Teaching Conditions: 

The school employs 5 fulltime qualified teachers, a principal and 17 Aboriginal staff.

ImageTeachers taking up appointments are responsible first to Yungngora Association (by-laws take precedence over outside authorities), then to the school principal. Yungngora Association by-laws stipulate that no drugs or alcohol are to be brought into the community.

Teachers are expected to care of their house and gardens and are offered self contained private accommodation, fully equipped with furniture and fittings. This includes TV, video, stereo, linen, microwave, cooking utensils etc. Houses also contain laptop computers and wireless access to the internet. Teachers need only bring clothing and other personal belongings. Inventories of houses are available upon appointment.

It is the responsibility of the appointee to maintain classrooms, houses and gardens to the highest standards.

It is recommended that appointees have their own vehicle, a four wheel drive is required for the wet season.


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Working in our school 

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