Vision

Worawa Aboriginal College honours the vision of the Founder, Aboriginal visionary Hyllus Maris who at the opening of the College said:

“…in this, the first Aboriginal school in Victoria, the educational curriculum has been specially designed to suit Aboriginal students to bring them to their full potential …Formal studies at secondary level will include English, Mathematics, Science, Current Affairs, History, Geography, Languages, Domestic Science, Business Management, Art/Craft, Music and Physical Education…Aboriginal culture will be imparted not only as a school subject in each class’s timetable but as an integral part of everyday life at the school…”

Worawa Aboriginal College will provide a holistic program that develops the intellectual, social, physical, emotional and cultural wellbeing of each student through a combination of mainstream education and Aboriginal Pedagogy – ways of Being, Knowing and Doing.

The Worawa Education Program is based on the concept of “two way” learning. This involves the Teaching and Learning Program addressing the Key Learning Areas of mainstream curriculum whilst taking into account Aboriginal culture, values, spiritual beliefs and learning styles. Importantly College academic staff, management and the Governing Body are jointly committed to the ‘Walking Together’ ethos, enriching the College program through shared wisdom and knowledge.

Statement of Intent

Worawa Aboriginal College provides a holistic education and boarding experience for Aboriginal young women from suburban and regional Victoria and regional and remote communities interstate, in the middle years of schooling  (Years 7 – 10) with emphases upon;

  • Affirming and fostering students’ pride in their cultural identity, knowledge and respect for their heritage, languages and place as part of the nation’s diverse First Australian peoples
  • Flourishing in a bi-cultural learning environment that provides pathways for life-long learning, participation and success in cross-cultural learning context
  • Mastery of core learning skills, knowledge and understandings, with particular emphasis upon the acquisition and development of essential skills in literacy and numeracy
  • Offering Aboriginal communities and families an education choice for their young women to participate in a mainstream education opportunity to achieve their full academic and intellectual potential
  • Preparing and equipping young Aboriginal women with positive and optimistic attitudes and the life skills required for their futures in their home communities and the wider world
  • Nurturing and developing students’ creativity and self-expression, talents and capabilities, as well as their confidence and motivation to strive for excellence
  • Developing students’ personal self-confidence, respect, responsibility, stamina,  rigour and commitment  in all their pursuits, while also enabling and equipping them for making significant life choices
  • Students being engaged, challenged and fulfilled through participating in Worawa’s total education program and open and equipped to link with education opportunities at the College’s partner schools
  • Developing and maintaining good moral, emotional, mental and spiritual health and well-being as well and physical fitness
  • Developing meaningful, respectful and quality relationships between students and between students and staff
  • Providing students with opportunities for personalised learning through negotiation and development of personalised learning plans relating to academic, social, cultural emotional and physical learning
  • Sending young Aboriginal women out into the world with confidence in who they are, where they want to be and what they can contribute to their communities and to the wider world

Philosophy

At Worawa we believe in dedicated, committed staff that encourage students by nurturing self esteem and education. We believe that we can bring out the best in our students and motivate them to strive for excellence. We are aware that all students are unique and because of this we show flexibility in our teaching and learning program by catering to each student’s level of understanding. We believe that it is our duty to nurture and develop the abilities of our students and provide them with the opportunity to achieve in their area of choice so they may live with a true sense of confidence. We believe in a holistic school program that develops the intellectual, social, physical, emotional and cultural wellbeing of each student through a combination of mainstream education and Aboriginal cultural values.

Values

Corporate values

  •  student focus
  • educational achievement
  • cultural enrichment
  • confidentiality
  • safe work environment
  • continuous improvement
  • community and stakeholder relationships
  • integrity

Worawa observes cultural values of Relationship; Respect, Responsibility and Reciprocity.

History

Worawa Aboriginal College purchased the property‘Barak Park’ in 1985 through funding from the Commonwealth Government and the Worawa College Buildings and Land Fund Raising Committee. Prior to its acquisition by Worawa Aboriginal College the property was used as a school holiday camp and grazing land. The property is of particular importance to the Aboriginal community as it once formed part of the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station and is in close proximity to the Coranderrk Aboriginal Cemetery.

Coranderrk Aboriginal Station was founded in 1883 on an area of 2300 acres along Badger Creek, extending from the Yarra to Mt Riddell which was gazetted as land reserved for Aboriginal purposes. This was later extended to include a total area of more than 4000 acres. The Station prospered and the agricultural potential of the land was well demonstrated. In 1893 almost half the land was reclaimed by government, and by 1924 orders came for its closure as an Aboriginal Station. Historically Coranderrk, including the site of Worawa Aboriginal College, has been an integral part of the Healesville community as a settlement and educational centre for Aboriginal people.