Worawa Term 4 Newsletter 2017

Strong Partners Strong Future

Strategic Partnerships at Worawa ensure that the holistic program we deliver remains strong, current and embedded within the greater community. While our excellent educational program, co-curricular activities and beautiful grounds ensure our students are supported and guided towards their best possible future, it is equally important that our courses are founded in the real world. Worawa is intentionally connected to only the very best of strategic organisations, institutions and companies.

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Year in Review

During the year students continually engaged in the numerous educational experiences offered at Worawa. This has included the RISE Camp at University of Melbourne, excursion to the Defence Force, work experience and more.

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Rise Camp

Between Monday 27th November and Saturday 2nd December, Dorothea, Justine, Kyema and Rochelle participated in the Residential Indigenous Science Experience (RISE) camp at Melbourne University.

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Drone Exercise

We are proud of our partnership with the University of Melbourne through which we have introduced an exciting direction in learning about and using future technologies as part of the Worawa Aboriginal College STEM curriculum.

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Creative Arts

Worawa Performing Arts students have had another very successful term. After months of creating and rehearsing, the girls performed their play ‘Turbine’ for students and teachers from all over Melbourne at the Malthouse Theatre.

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Download term 4 newsletter 2017

Click here to download PDF.

Presentation Day 2017

On Presentation Day we will acknowledge and reward the achievement of our students and we extend an invitation to you to join us in this celebration. Following the Awards Ceremony guests may adjourn to the Sandra Bardas Gallery to view an exciting exhibition of Aboriginal fine art by our students and communities they come from.

Keynote Speaker
Dr Jackie Huggins AM

Dr Jackie Huggins is a Bidjara (central Queensland) and Birri–Gubba Juru (North Queensland) woman from Queensland who has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for over thirty years. Jackie is a celebrated historian and author who has documented the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout the decades.

In 2001, Jackie received the Member of the Order of Australia for services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Throughout her career spanning over four decades, Jackie has played a leading role in reconciliation, literacy, women’s issues and social justice.

Jackie holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and Flinders University (with Honours) a Diploma of Education and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Queensland. Most recently, Jackie was the Director of Jackie Huggins and Associates, a consultancy business, following a long and distinguished record of public service and professional achievement. She is currently the Co-Chair of National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.


Event Details

13 December 2017


60-80 Barak Lane, Healesville

5 December 2017

Worawa Term 3 Newsletter 2017

Art at Worawa

Painting, Acting, Filming, Fabric dying, Photography, Beat Poetry, Dancing – so many art forms have been involved in the Arts Program at Worawa this term.

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Deakin University COLLAB17

We were pleased to have a group of students from the Deakin University Faculty of Arts and Education work in collaboration with the College as part of the University’s Collaboration in Design (COLLAB) Project. The COLLAB17 project included reformatting of student artworks into merchandise gift wrapping paper and greeting cards.

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Sports Academy

This term, the students in the Sports Academy were fortunate to have Athletics Australia coach, Bridgid Junot, attend Worawa every Thursday to deliver the Level 1 ‘Kids’ Athletics Coaching Course. The program was tailored for the students to enable them to learn the basic concepts and principles of coaching whilst integrating basic literacy and numeracy concepts into each lesson.

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Emerging Sports Talent

Estherlita Forbes is an emerging sports talent. Selected for the Eastern Football League U15 Interleague Selection Trials, Estherlita also excels in Little Athletics in the long jump, high jump and distance running.

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Congratulations to Our Under 13’s Netball Team

Our Under 13’s netball team have had an amazing Winter Season. The team has only lost 2 games, which were played at the start of the season; they had a winning streak from March to September.

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Weekend Recreation Activities

On weekends the girls enjoy a range of recreation activities. Sunday, 20th August took them on an exciting trip to enjoy the snow at Lake Mountain Resort in Marysville. For many, it was their first experience of snow and of being up in the mountains. The excitement and anticipation built up as we approached the resort, and the girls caught their first glimpse of snow on the trees and on the side of the road.

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Work Experience and Pathways

This term Year 10 students have been heading out of school to experience the world of work. This has included tours and talks as well as individual work placements within the Healesville business community. The Healesville RACV Resort was one such business.

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Download term 3 newsletter 2017

Click here to download PDF.

Worawa Term 2 Newsletter 2017

Reconciliation Sports Carnival

There was a lot of activity in sports during Term Two with the major event being the Reconciliation Sports Carnival. Held on the 23rd of May, it turned out to be a fantastic day. The weather held up nicely, with only a sprinkling of rain. The rest of the day provided ideal conditions for the football and netball tournaments.

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Students studied geometry in Mathematics this term. After mastering the topic of gradients, students applied the knowledge to financial matters, learning about regularly putting money aside as savings and the long-term effects from varying the amounts regularly saved.

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Indigenous Weather Knowledge

Staff from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) gave a presentation to students on Indigenous Weather Knowledge. They told students about their visits to consult elders on seasonal weather cycles and to learn how the community functions in different seasons.

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Deloitte Reconciliation Action Plan

Worawa is proud to be formally recognised as part of the Deloitte Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). At a formal function held on 7 June, Deloitte announced a renewed emphasis on its Reconciliation Action Plan ‘New Horizons’ under the revitalised program there is a renewed emphasis on Indigenous engagement across the organisation.

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Cadet Ranger Program

The Cadet Ranger Program operates in partnership with the Healesville Sanctuary and continues to provide amazing opportunities for students to learn about wildlife and conservation. The critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeater is the bird emblem for Victoria. The Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater volunteers are revegetating an area with local species of grasses, plants, shrubs and trees in the hope of recreating the original environment that the birds flourished in.

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Worawa Principal Honoured

Worawa Principal Lois Peeler AM, was presented with the Doctor of Social Science Honoris Causa by RMIT University. In accepting the doctorate Dr Peeler said “My work and the work of my sister, Hyllus Maris the Founder of Worawa Aboriginal College, was to create transformative experiences to prepare Aboriginal youth for life and work so they may shape their own world. We already held within us, the world’s oldest living culture, with all its complexities and meaning. Hyllus knew that we needed our own school so our culture could be held as precious and central to all learning. This was the impetus for my family’s passion for our own place, meeting our needs, our own curriculum and our Worawa Way of knowing, doing and being was birthed.

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Lady Eaglehawks

The 2017 football season has been very exciting. The girls have developed skills and gained confidence throughout the season. Some girls have played for the first time and have surprised the coach with how quickly they pick up rules and game plan.

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Download term 2 newsletter 2017

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From Model to Role Model

Among the notable Australians pausing to reflect on the 50th anniversary of the historic 1967 Aboriginal referendum will be the one-time model, turned pillar of Indigenous education, Lois Peeler.

By Luke Waters. This is a story about Lois Peeler on inspiring the next generation of Indigenous Australians – SBS.

Read the full story on SBS.




lois_cynthia_thelma_lois_at_cummera lois_briggs_gown_on_beach

From Little Things – empowering young Aboriginal women with skills and confidence

Imagine leaving behind your family, your country, your way of life. All at the age of 12. That is what it takes for young women to pursue an education at Worawa Aboriginal College — Victoria’s only independent Aboriginal school and the first of only two Aboriginal-controlled boarding schools in Australia.

By photojournalist Jane Cowan. This is a story about Worawa College empowering young Aboriginal women with skills and confidence – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Read the full story on ABC News.



Worawa Term 1 Newsletter 2017

Hyllus Maris Memorial Lecture

A historic lecture commemorating the work of Aboriginal Visionary and Worawa Aboriginal College Founder, Hyllus Maris was relaunched at La Trobe University to coincide with International Women’s Day on Wednesday, 8 March. The Hyllus Maris Memorial Lecture was initially established in 1999 in honour of the Yorta Yorta woman, writer and poet, whose achievements in education include the establishment in 1983 of Victoria’s first and only Aboriginal school, Worawa Aboriginal College.

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All of the students were privileged to be involved in two sessions of workshops with Tony, being inspired by his humour, creativity and passion for owning and telling your own stories. He delivered a very strong message about the power of storytelling, in any form, for keeping your own identity and your culture strong.

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We are very lucky to have Jess Gannaway, our EAL/D specialist, working with all the girls to gather new and detailed data about reading, writing and comprehension levels. This means that we have been able to continue to tailor class and individual tasks for improved progress in all areas. Murnong girls (Green group) have focussed on reading skills and work together each week to compose letters to send home.

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Sustainability at Worawa

Worawa is commencing its journey towards officially becoming a ResourceSmart School. This program in Victoria allows schools to focus on 5 modules surrounding Energy, Water, Waste and Biodiversity.

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National Indigenous Training Academy and Uluru

On the 23rh of March this year 6 students and 2 staff made the journey from Healesville to Voyagers Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara in the Northern Territory to experience the amazing facilities, programs and staff at the National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA).

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Performing Arts

The students in the Performing Arts Academy, along with other talented and dedicated students throughout the school, have had a number of wonderful opportunities during Term 1.

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Download term 1 newsletter 2017

Click here to download PDF.

2016 The Year in Review

Our students and staff have enjoyed another successful year, and we celebrate the year with this 2016 Year in review book. We hope you enjoy some of the images captured throughout the year.

Worawa Term 4 Newsletter 2016

Presentation Day

Lois Peeler, Executive Director Presentation Day Speech 2016.

“On behalf of the Worawa Community, it is my pleasure to welcome you all here today. It is lovely to see so many families, friends and supporters here to join us in our day of celebration.

Worawa Aboriginal College is now in its 33 year of operation. Worawa is an Aboriginal initiative, owned and governed by Aboriginal people, for our Aboriginal young people. While the semantics may only subtly differ from other indigenous places of learning, it is important to note that at Worawa we formulate our programs to support Aboriginal ways of knowing as well as mainstream understandings.”…

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Writing Project: Telling Our Stories Our Way

All of the students were privileged to be involved in two sessions of workshops with Tony, being inspired by his humour, creativity and passion for owning and telling your own stories. He delivered a very strong message about the power of storytelling, in any form, for keeping your own identity and your culture strong.

Read more

Kids Teaching Kids

The girls in Blue group took on a big challenge this term. In class, they used both internet research and first-hand accounts to prepare detailed Powerpoints on the Stolen Generations. The students practised their presentations in front of the class before going to Badger Creek Primary School to teach the Year 5 and 6 students.

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Download term 4 newsletter 2016

Click here to download PDF.

Presentation Day 2016

On our Presentation Day we will acknowledge and reward the achievement of our students and we extend an invitation to you to join us in this celebration. Following the Awards Ceremony guests may adjourn to the Sandra Bardas Gallery to view a collection of art works by students and the communities that they come from.

Presentation Day Key Note Speaker – Deborah Cheetham AO

Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator has been a familiar voice in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Deborah was appointed as an Office of the Order of Australia (AO), for distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance.

In March 2015 Deborah Cheetham AO was inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. Deborah is Artistic Director of Short Black Opera a national not-for-profit opera company devoted to the development of Indigenous talent. Her landmark opera Pecan Summer at the Sydney Opera House was a huge success.


Event Details & RSVP

When: Wednesday 14th December 2016
Time: 11.00am
Where: 60-80 Barak Lane, Healesville
RSVP: Call 03 5962 4344
or email admin@worawa.vic.edu.au
by 7 December, 2016