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

Click here to download PDF.

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.

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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

Sandra Bardas Art Gallery

Sandra Bardas Art Gallery

The Sandra Bardas Art Gallery showcases authentic and affordable Aboriginal art produced by students of Worawa College and the communities they come from.

Situated on College grounds, the gallery is named in honour of Sandra Bardas OAM who worked with the Founder, Hyllus Maris to establish Victoria’s first and only Aboriginal school. A feature of life at Worawa that brings together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learning is the exquisite art work on display. Reflecting stories of community, family and land, the designs of wonderfully expressive paintings are now incorporated into fabric patterns and are displayed alongside original costume jewellery. As well as student work, the gallery displays art from the students’ home communities and demonstrates the holistic and creative nature of learning for all to see.

Our friendly and informative staff are available to assist you with any enquiries including selection, gift wrapping, and worldwide delivery options.

Gallery Hours & Location
By appointment only.
Address: 60 – 80 Barak Lane, Healesville VIC 3777
Email: artgallery@worawa.vic.edu.au
Direct Phone: 0498 967 292 (0498-WORAWA)

Worawa Term 3 Newsletter 2016

Debutante Dreaming 2016

Debutante Dreaming 2016

Debutante Dreaming 2016 was a wonderful success. Of course, the girls looked stunning in their beautiful, white gowns and perfectly styled hair, but this event is so much more than dresses and makeup.

Debutante Dreaming is the culmination of a program called ‘Pathways to Womanhood.’ This programs supports and promotes healthy living, positive thinking and cultural pride. So, there is a lot of deep learning and diligent work that goes into each student’s participation in the Debutante Dreaming Event.

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Elders are an integral and pivotal part of every Indigenous community. Elders’ guidance facilitates the passing on of cultural knowledge across the generations, celebrating and revitalising Aboriginal cultural heritage and fostering pride in Aboriginal identity.

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Science at Worawa this term focussed on the topic of “The Human Body”. The term started an overview of Indigenous Health Issues to give context to what the students would be learning and why it is important. Some of the issues discussed included Diabetes, Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection) and Kidney Disease.

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Wellness and the Art Therapy

Art Therapy has been introduced to Worawa this year as part of the school’s Wellbeing approach. Art Therapy is a form of counselling which can address emotional issues through the combination of the therapy relationship and the art process. A large component of the Art Therapy program consists of individual sessions for students having difficulties learning or focusing in class.

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Health and PE

During Health and PE this term the students learned why it is important to be healthy and how exercise and fitness can help us mentally and physically. They also looked at the factors that can motivate or prevent them from taking care of themselves and participating in sport and fitness.

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Fitness at Worawa

There is plenty of action in the gym this semester. Our personal trainer Meaghan Donald is opening the doors at 7 am for keen aspiring athletes and those seeking to improve their fitness and general wellbeing.

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Sports Academy

On the last weekend of the school term, Worawa hosted the AFL Victoria Female Kickstart Indigenous and Multicultural camp to promote culture and sport for girls born 2001 and 2002 from across Victoria.

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Download term 3 newsletter 2016

Click here to download PDF.

Young talent in Worawa Sports Academy

The Worawa Sports Academy caters specifically for young Aboriginal women, is based on an integrated Education, Culture and Wellbeing model and operates in an Aboriginal environment.

Australian Rules Football (AFL) forms the foundation ‘sport’ but also includes other team sports including soccer, netball, basketball, softball and soon, cricket.

This year we have seen the establishment of the Worawa AFL Umpiring Diversity Academy and the Lady Eaglehawk football team. A number of students have been selected to participate in the inaugural V-Line Youth Girls Cup, an AFL talent pathway in line with the TAC CUP regions which provides a pathway into an AFL talent program. Worawa students have been identified for their football ability and have the opportunity to be involved in a program where they will be provided with extra development to further their football talent.

As part of the AFL Female Kickstart/All Nations Pathway Program Worawa will host the AFL Victoria Female Diversity Future Leaders State Camp 10 -11 September in the lead up to the National Female Diversity Championships to be held 19-21 September.

Take a listen to Young Mbantua Born Shaquille Swan-Sharpe interview on the Caama Sports Show.