Yipirinya School grows with strong leadership
[supplied by Sally Martin]
Last week marked a vital step in the future success of the students of Yipirinya School, with handing back control of the school to Aboriginal leaders.
The newly formed Yipirinya School Council met for the first time in 2-years after a period of statutory management ended. With two representatives from each of the language groups taught (Warlpiri, Central Arrernte, Western Aranda and Luritja) the council members are strong community leaders with long term ties to the school with some being previous students and family of founding members.
Central Arrernte man, Patrick Nandy is the Council Chair and is a strong, motivated and inspiring role model. Talking about Yipirinya School he said “in the last 12 months we’ve seen lots more kids going to school which has been good to see. I want to help Yipirinya grow more and inspire the kids to do more.”
Patrick’s view is in line with the mission of the school being ‘to provide quality education to the children of the Aboriginal families in Alice Springs and surrounds so that they are equipped with what they need to live position and fulfilling lives’.
Community led, accessible, relevant, captivating, and inspiring education is what Yipirinya School is about, and with 65% of the staff Aboriginal and the school council back on board, the future of the town camp kids of Alice Springs is bright.
Western Aranda council representative, Sarah Mangaraka is happy Yipirinya is here for the kids in Alice Springs. “I want to be part of the Council so we can keep giving the kids opportunities to learn and grow”. This is done through preserving and teaching Aboriginal culture and identity through language and cultural activities such as weekly learning on country days, in addition to the Australian curriculum.
Yipirinya School also offers culturally appropriate support in the Happy Heart Hub to break down some of the barriers the students face, as well as numerous activities outside school hours through the Sunset School.
In addition to strong Aboriginal leadership, good governance of the school council is vital, so council members completed the Aboriginal Governance and Management Program with APONT. This included understanding the role and responsibility of a board and how to be strong and effective
Reporting to the council, Principal, Gavin Morris, said “I’m looking forward to working with this strong council for the benefit of the students, and Alice Springs community as a whole. This will result in sustainability, excellence and long term positive outcomes.”
Community controlled education at Yipirinya School is the way to create a bright future for Aboriginal kids in Alice Springs, and strong leadership and role models is vital.
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