Wulungarra Community School

Contact Details: 

Kadjina Community, Millijidee Pastoral Station, West Kimberley
PO Box 383
FITZROY CROSSING  WA 6765

ph:  (08) 9191 7402
e-mail: principal@wulungarra.wa.edu.au
web: www.wulungarra.wa.edu.au

Principal:   Mr Anthony Vandermolen
Acting Chairperson:  Mr Eric Forest

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History: 

Originally an out-station serviced by the Kulkarriya Community School, the Kadjina Community located at Millijidee gained independent status for their school in 1997. The school has a strong commitment to maintaining and strengthening children's knowledge and use of traditional language and cultural practices. Wulungarra places a high priority on teaching Standard Australian English literacy and numeracy while recognising the students' status as speakers of other languages

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Physical Setting: 

Wulungarra Community School is a small community school in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.  It is located south east of Fitzroy Crossing on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert and surrounded by the Saint George Ranges.

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The school is built on Millijidee Cattle Station and both the school and the cattle station are owned and run by Kadjina Community

Access by 4WD is available for most of the year.  During the wet season the Fitzroy River and the many small creeks in that river system can cut off road access.  At these times access is limited to light planes.

When the roads are accessible we are about 230km or three hours’ drive from Fitzroy Crossing and about 420 km or five hours’ drive from Broome  The school has two Toyota troop carriers used for bush trips and general school business.

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The Community: 

All children at Kadjina come to school with English as their second or third language. Their home language environment is a combination of Walmajarri and Kriol and English to varying degrees. A high priority in our school is to teach the children to speak, read and write in English. However, as the language group at Kadjina is Walmajarri, the school has language consultants who teach Walmajarri in the school, as well as making resources which promote the use of and profile of the traditional language.

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Cross Cultural Initiatives 

Governance: 

The school is governed by representatives of the community and is chaired by Mr Dennis Laurel. Dennis has lived in community for his whole life. Schooling and growing up on Noonkanbah station, Yungngora Community he left there and came to Millijiddee Station when he was a teenager to go to work at the stock camp. His family have all been born and raised in Millijiddee where they have lived for the past 30 or so years, while all of his children have attended Wulungarra Community School.

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Curriculum: 

To supplement the strong literacy and numeracy focus that is planned across the whole school, visiting specialists bring the outside world in. In recent times these have included a music specialist, science shows, a manual arts truck, a reading specialist, a film making crew, a circus troupe, a theatre group and a maths Questacon. In addition to visits on site students travel to other schools in the region and to Fitzroy Crossing and Broome to take part in sporting and cultural events.

Through the literature production centre we have focused on developing the technology area in our school. The children and language specialists have had training in using both Desk Top Publishing and related IT skill.

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We strive to value and respect Indigenous ways of operating while at the same time developing skills and understandings about the demands of contemporary society. In this way we are committed to bringing success to every student every day.

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Physical Resource 

Enrolment: 

The school caters to a range of ages and abilities from preschoolers to adolescents in two multi-aged classrooms. The community is very remote and there are few organisations or institutions therefore babies are welcomed into the school environment from a very early age and toddlers have a special session devoted to them in order to give them school ‘savvy’ at an early age.

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School Aims 

Teaching Conditions: 
  • 1 FT Principal
  • 2 FT Teachers
  • 3 FT Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers
  • 3 PT Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers

Although small, the school is well-resourced. The most important resource for the students is always the staff who care for them. For this reason a policy of support and professional development for all staff is a priority.

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Working in our school 

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Showcase