Worawa Term 2 Newsletter 2018

Whispers of the Land

In the lead up to NAIDOC Worawa had the opportunity to showcase the creative work being undertaken in our Learning Centres at a Fashion Runway at the Melbourne Museum, in the aptly named, ‘You Can’t Do That’ exhibition space. From possum skin cloak to couture design – narrative was always evident. Our collection titled, ‘Whispers of the Land’ came to life in bright acrylics on couture design and bush colour floating on silk creations.

Worawa is implementing a STEAM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths). Our Aboriginal pedagogy is drawn from the living landscape and based on Aboriginal beliefs and values which encompasses respect for the land and links content to local land and place.

Worawa offers an elective where students have been learning natural dye techniques using plants and plant extracts utilising either found leaf matter or plant extracts from our land and elsewhere. Under the guidance of teachers with passion and expertise, students are producing sensational natural dye fabrics which are then designed and fashioned into garments.

Worawa has a vibrant Art Studio where students are producing high-quality work where they showcase their youth, uniqueness and their Culture. It is in this creative hub students have the opportunity to express their Aboriginal identity and connect to their country and Dreaming stories.

The artworks produced have many applications and have been applied to fabric for the creation of stunning garments which are offset by masks constructed from natural products. Students develop a sophisticated understanding of art and how it can be presented. From idea to the canvas, canvas to fabric or poster or internet campaign – the possibilities become endless for these artists of the future.

Recently our students excitedly prepared for showing the garments in a fashion parade and modelled with all the aplomb of seasoned professionals. The event was a resounding success. Worawa College’s aim to provide excellent opportunities for students who attend to develop their self-confidence and self-esteem, while being grounded in their Indigenous heritage was emphatically met. Another step in being ready to take their place to “Walk in Two Worlds” and to govern their own choices. We are justly proud of these projects and even more glowingly proud of the students who take part in them with such energy and prowess.

STEAM at Worawa

Our STEAM program has allowed students to express their innovation and creativity throughout Term 2 with a range of exciting projects focusing on wearables and electronics. Our industry partnerships have ensured that the girls were immersed in genuine workplace scenarios and experienced a merging of cutting edge and traditional technologies.

Students from the year 9/10 Kombadik class attended Yarra Ranges Tech School where they worked in design teams with Littlebits Electronics. The girls came up with a range of advanced wearable technologies to measure your heart rate, footsteps and body temperature, as well as a portable Bluetooth, enabled surround sound system. Kombadik will be attending Yarra Ranges Tech School again in Term 3 to use CAD software and 3D printers to create the wearable casings for their technologies.

Students in years 7 & 8 are experiencing the future of solar energy with CSIRO. The Cumbungi class kick started their project with an excursion to Melbourne Zoo to see the experimental lightweight and flexible solar film in action at a trial installation. The girls are working on creating a 2nd installation incorporating solar lighting on our very own Dreaming Trail.

Selected students braved a daily 3 hour round trip to attend RMIT for a 5-day screen printing workshop experiencing the entire design process from initial design, transfer to film, photo emulsion onto silk screens and printing on a range of products. Keep your eye out for a range of WORAWA canvas bags, tea towels and t-shirts in the future.

Students from the Fashion & Textiles elective wowed the crowd on the Whispers of the Land runway in the You Can’t Do That exhibition space at Melbourne Museum as they displayed their garments produced using natural dye processes.

The girls topped off their busy STEAM timetable with their ongoing work on the Worawa Seasonal Calendar. Girls in years 9 & 10 participated in a fascinating conversation with Dr Sue Barrell, Chief Scientist with the BOM, learning more about how the weather is monitored and predicted. Year 7 & 8 continued to analyse and visualise data, focusing on rainfall. We look forward to inputting our data and beta testing our new interactive Seasonal Calendar website with software engineering students from Melbourne University.

We are set for more STEAM excitement, learning and collaboration in Term 3.

Literacy – Words at Work

This term there has been a lot of activity and progress as students have planned and practised how to speak confidently in front of an audience, presenting ideas, opinions or information. In Assembly, we have seen a wonderful film made and narrated by the girls, which demonstrated and explained all the complicated and important steps (procedures) they followed to use natural products and objects to dye silk.

This produced beautiful fabrics for fashion garments. The film-makers made sure that the communication was clear by using close-ups and subtitles as well. Another class accepted a big challenge and wrote and recorded their own voice-overs to tell new stories of different animated videos. The whole school enjoyed seeing the first completed narrative animation on the big screen.

It can be very nerve-wracking to talk in front of all your fellow students and the teachers, but some students have started to take up the challenge, with a highlight being a thought-provoking and expressively presented speech on the important topic of January 26. Some of our keenest readers had a visit from two of the Librarians from Eastern Library, who showed us all the exciting resources we will be able to access next term.

Rangers Program

As we entered the Waring season (Wurundjeri season name for the Early and Deep Winter) our Ranger Team commenced their first round of placements at Healesville Sanctuary. Three of the four students were new to the program this term. Each student attends the sanctuary for half a day with a 7 am start every fortnight.

Cold temperatures and shorter day lengths make this challenging at this time of year, but the opportunity to work 1 to 1 with a qualified Animal Keeper is the motivation our Rangers need. Each of the girls has made some wonderful connections with both the animals and the Keepers at the Sanctuary and they are keen to return again in term three.

Our other Ranger project this term has included exploring climatic zones around Australia and investigating the plant, animal and insect life found in those zones. We have also explored the concepts of animal enrichment for captive animals, our unique monotremes (egg-laying mammals), our weather station and seasonal changes for growing plants and our bees. Our honey harvest will mean that the girls will have our first Worawa honey on their toast and cereal in Term 3.

Reconciliation Sports Carnival

All in attendance at the Reconciliation Sports Carnival, on the 22nd of May, barely noticed the rain falling steadily throughout the day. The spirit of the day would not be dampened, to what would be one of Worawa’s biggest carnivals yet.

With thirteen schools participating in the netball round robin and four in the football tournament, there was plenty of sporting action to keep everyone entertained. After three outstanding football matches, MLC defeated Worawa in the grand final, taking out the Louisa Briggs Shield for the second year in a row. Best on Ground went to Georgia Frasier, from MLC, and Worawa’s own, Paris Carpio, was awarded the Team Spirit Award. The competitiveness of the netball tournament was evident, despite the dampness of the courts, with players relying on their passing skills and teamwork. MLMC defeated Shelford to take away the Naomi Atkinson Perpetual Trophy. Eucharia Tipiloura, from Worawa, was awarded the Encouragement Award.

The students, from the four primary schools in attendance, were entertained with the many activities to choose from including; The Longest Kick and a Basketball Shooting competition, Traditional Indigenous games run by SportsReady, Athletics activities run by Athletics Australia, mini-football activities conducted by AFL Yarra Ranges and face-painting by the Worawa girls. Guests were entertained with live music from Ruckus and DJ Congo, who kept the students dancing throughout the day.

We were thrilled to have Caitlin Thwaites, superstar netballer from Collingwood Magpies as our special guest. Thanks to Sarah Perkins, the VFLW/AFLW player from the Hawthorn Football Club, SEDA and AFL Umpiring for being on hand to assist with the netball and football umpiring.

Umpire Training

Each Tuesday, for a period of seven weeks, nine Worawa students attended the AFL Umpiring Diversity Academy Program at Worawa Aboriginal College. Joshua James, a leading community umpire from Geelong who occupies the role of Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer with Victoria Police, coached the students in all aspects of AFL umpiring. Josh was assisted by Bob Allen, the Yarra Ranges Goal Umpires’ Coach and Jessie Mulholland, the Eastern Region Female Competitions & Talent Coordinator.

The sessions were split between classroom study and practical on-field umpiring. After the initial seven weeks training, eight girls were picked to umpire the half-time AusKick games at the Sir Doug Nicholls round – “Dreamtime at the G” (Saturday 2 June). This was an exciting conclusion to the program and greatly enjoyed by all the girls who participated. The course also qualifies those students who completed all seven sessions, to umpire junior level matches and contribute units of accreditation towards their future VCAL completion. The success of this program, over the last four years, will continue next year and potentially, will provide pathways into careers in the AFL for students at Worawa.


Worawa has three netball teams playing in the winter season for the Lilydale and Yarra Valley Netball Association at Pinks Reserve each Saturday. The Under 13s team have only lost two games this season and are sitting second on the ladder. They won an action-packed game against the top team by two points earlier in the season. The Under 15s team and the Open team have enjoyed some great wins as well and each week there is an improvement in skills, knowledge of the rules and working together as a team. We look forward with great anticipation to continuing the winter season in Term 3 and watching the girls enjoying their netball.

Worawa Lady Eaglehawks

The College gets numerous complimentary emails about our students from all sporting codes where Worawa has teams registered. It is heart-warming to receive comments as the recent email about the Worawa Lady Eaglehawks by Glenn Stephenson, Coach of the Upwey/Tecoma JFC U16’s. Glen states, “I just want to say what an amazing day it’s been. We loved hosting the Worawa U16’s today at our home ground; your brand of footy was fast and skilful and showed heaps of promise. We hope you all felt welcome at our club; we certainly enjoyed having you. Thanks to Siobhan, your amazing coach; she did an awesome job with her players and staff on the day. We really look forward to the next time we meet; we wish you all the best”.

Worawa has an association with the Hawthorn Football Club Next Generation Academy and we look forward to some exciting developments in the coming months. Commencing in Term 3 we will conduct a six week AFL Nutrition, Health and Fitness Program with VFLW/AFLW player Sarah Perkins.


Worawa has four basketball teams registered with the Kilsyth Basketball Association.

Two U14s, one U16s and one U18s team. Eagles, Hawks Kookaburras and Crows are all playing well this year. We are pleased to have students Paris and Kaitlin help with coaching the Hawks team who are second on the ladder.

The girls are continually improving as a team and we hope to see them in the finals again.

AFL Umpire Uniforms Designed by Worawa Students

Our College enjoyed a whole school excursion to the Kilsyth Basketball Stadium to cheer on two of our three basketball teams, the Kookaburras and the Eagles, who made it to the grand final of the Kilsyth Basketball Association. Despite a stirling effort and the loudest cheer squad ever, neither team took home the pennant, but lots of resolve to try harder next season.

Our Lady Eaglehawks football teams will take to the footy ground next term and girls will undergo a Basic Umpire Training certificate course conducted by AFL Victoria.

Many students play in one of the three College netball teams. Some girls play football, basketball and netball!.

Our school is preparing for our annual Reconciliation Sports Carnival which will be held on Tuesday 22 May.

Kicking Work Placement Goals

Victorian Certificate in Applied Learning (VCAL) – Years 10, 11 and 12

This term VCAL 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 community and beyond.

Two outstanding young women in the VCAL program have secured traineeships with Victoria Police in their Lilydale and Mooroolbark offices as part of the VCAL work placement program. These girls are also completing their Certificate III in Business as part of their traineeships.

The Healesville RACV Resort was another local organisation that participated in this program. The resort manager and departmental managers hosted a day of talks, tours of their departments and lunch for Worawa girls.

They also offered 2 students work placement one day a week in the gym and reception areas of the resort. The feedback about these young women was that they were excellent at their jobs and the resort would like to continue their commitment to both girls’ workplace experiences.

Other VCAL students attended work placement every Wednesday of the term at Badger Creek Primary School as well as Eastern Community Legal Centre.

We are proud of the achievements of our VCAL students and the support they have gained from a range of employers. They have gained this support because of their commitment to being responsible, reliable, hard-working and fostering positive working relationships.

Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service

All students and teaching staff attended the annual Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service held on Wednesday 31st May. This is a tradition that has been happening at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne since 2007.

Worawa students performed as part of the service. Guests were welcomed by Aunty Dot Peters, a respected Elder of the Healesville community with family connections to Coranderrk. Aunty Dot was instrumental in establishing the Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service assisted by Sam Halim the then President of the Healesville RSL. Guests honoured Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who served in our armed services.

Ministers, representatives and former soldiers reflected upon the important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander soldiers provided during the war campaigns of the past and those currently serving. The service acknowledged the courage and bravery of those that have served, brought the community together and allowed the sharing of personal connections to those that have served to create Australia as we know it today. At the conclusion student representatives joined others in laying a wreath at the cenotaph.

EALD at Worawa

This term has been an exciting one in terms of student learning, with the introduction of Personalised Learning Plans for every student. Each student has had a term goal for Speaking & Listening, Reading, Writing and Numeracy. Students have worked hard to focus their learning and practice the skills identified, and we have celebrated many achieved goals throughout the term.

All Literacy teachers participated in an Introduction to Scaffolded Literacy module as part of a participatory action research project. This training helped teachers to identify specific EALD literacy pedagogies that we can implement. Teachers enjoyed many rigorous conversations that tied these learnings back to Respect, Rigour, Relationship and Responsibility.

The EALD program has benefited greatly from our integration aides Grace and Vicki this term. Grace has implemented the Multilit program for reading support, and students are making exciting progress with this one on one attention and assistance.



We are pleased to introduce the newest member of the Worawa community; ‘Molly’. Molly is a Golden Retriever trained as a Therapy Dog. Molly underwent a six-day training course with Lead the Way Institute which focused on training in command obedience to sit, drop, heel, recall, step away and free. Molly also learnt manners that really matter, such as “no jumping’, “no barging out of doors” and “no mouthing”.

Molly, along with Houseparent Rosalina Rizk and Pastoral Care Worker Nancy Silvestroni attended the Lead the Way Institute to undertake training to become a Facility Therapy Dog. Molly underwent training in obedience such as sit, drop, heel, recall, step away and free. Molly also learnt manners that really matter, such as “no jumping’, “no barging “out of doors” and “no mouthing”.

Molly had not attended training prior to Lead the way, so initially, she was very anxious, jumpy and stubborn and would not listen to Rosalina and Nancy. She eventually accepted the training and became a working dog. Molly’s last day of training included an assessment where Molly was graded on her ability to be patted and interact with children and their parents from a karate class and elderly people in a nursing home.

Molly passed with flying colours although she still needs a bit of work on boundaries which staff and students will be involved in her training, next term. Molly had a great week training and learning to be guided by her handlers, Rosalina and Nancy. All have returned with a positive outlook for Molly’s future at Worawa Aboriginal College.

The girls love having Molly as part of the College community and we have welcomed her into the Worawa family. She is still learning The Worawa Way.

Pathways to Womanhood Program

The Pathways to Womanhood (PTW) program is a capability and leadership development program. Students enter into the co-curricular program through interview and their own personal application. PTW highlights learning opportunities and personal goals. The program also provides social, emotional and real-life opportunities for the candidate to mature, self-evaluate and experience a range of cultural experiences. The program culminates in a Debutante Ball; ‘Debutante Dreaming.’

This is not the usual mainstream event, rather it is a space for the expression of Aboriginal Leadership, Mature Adulthood Commencement and Personal Pride. Twelve girls will make their debut at Debutante Dreaming to be held 8 September at Pullman on the Park.

Worawa Walk

The Worawa Walk is an initiative to encourage health and fitness at Worawa. To encourage students to get more activity in their daily life they will be given the challenge of walking from Melbourne to a designated destination in Australia (this year we chose Darwin). To get there the students will walk supervised laps of the oval at designated times during the day. Each lap will equal a determined number of kilometres. As they earn their kilometres they will move along the chosen trail to get to the final destination.

Students who reach the final destination will be given the special Worawa Walk t-shirt. The t-shirt is designed by the winner of the t-shirt design competition held prior to the competition.

There will be an opportunity for students to earn prizes when they reach certain towns on their way to the final destination to encourage students to stay the course. For example, when they reach Ararat they will receive a drink bottle. As an incentive for students to achieve the destination in a timely manner, there will be a prize for the first, second and third place.


  • Melbourne to Darwin is 3,760 kilometres.
  • Each lap is worth 20 km.
  • This total requires students to walk (or run if they choose) 188 laps of the oval. (approx.75km in total).
  • There are 10 weeks in Term 3 for students to achieve the destination.
  • Students would have to walk around 19 laps a week (3-4 laps a day) to get there before the end of term (this equals 7.5km of extra exercise a week).

Sports & Fitness

This past term has been an exciting time for the girls to develop their personal fitness and progress in their favourite sports. The school gym is open daily and the girls are showing inspiring self-motivation and will to get up before school starts and fit in a workout. The gym offers fun and supportive personal training specific to the needs of the girls in recovery, sports and strength conditioning, injury prevention and cardiovascular endurance.

The girls are showing resilience in their sports, with some girls playing all sports offered and sometimes more than one game on the day. They’re showing leadership and sportsmanship, with most of our competition expressing pride in the courtesy of the girls shown to their opponents and each other. We’re looking forward to welcoming our new girls next term into our school and into our sports and well-being program.

Health & Wellbeing

The focus on this semester has been obtaining and maintaining maximum health and fitness. This has been achieved through understanding how a growing teenage body works, how to manage wellness through a holistic approach to nutrition, sleep, exercise and fitness, forming respectful relationships, and developing resilience. The students are able to look at healthy ears and eyes and learn the anatomy and physiology and human movement to support their own health and encourage each other to achieve their health and fitness goals.

The students have enjoyed good health over the semester, enjoyed a variety of sports and excursions to enhance their wellness. Dr Barb our rural General Practitioner, along with dental support, physiotherapy, podiatry, immunisation nurses, councillors, fitness instructor, optometrist, hearing specialists, have all contributed to the students’ well-being.


Download Term 2 Newsletter 2018

Worawa Term 1 Newsletter 2018

VCAL Year 11 & 12

Kicking off the new VCAL program at Worawa has been exciting! Students have embraced the Worawa VCAL model of learning. This is based on three important themes: Self, Community and Work. It also encourages self-esteem, confidence and the 4 Worawa Rs: Respect, Responsibility, Relationships and Rigour.

Students’ first major project this term was entitled ‘Finding My Voice.’ We have studied 2 pivotal events in Aboriginal history; the Freedom Riders and Charles Perkins as well as Vincent Lingiari and the Wave Hill ‘walk off.’ This project has culminated in students contacting local government about the renaming of Picanniny Creek in Healesville. Students are learning to find their own voices on issues that matter to them and their home communities. They are learning to consult with Elders and decision-makers in the community.

The term has also been spent organising structured workplace learning for all students based on their career interests and getting them out into workplaces so they understand workplace protocols. There are a number of work experiences and events organised for 2018 to provide this real-life learning to students. To support the transition to independent adult living in the future, next term students are participating in a week of driving lessons with the opportunity to gain their Learner Permit. Throughout 2018 students will also work towards achieving their Certificate II in Business as well as gain a number of useful hospitality skills. They will use these skills to run a microbusiness or microenterprise at school.

Worawa has strong business and community partnerships to support students now and in the future. This term VCAL students have been to Koori Court at Melbourne’s County Court, as well as RMIT, a university based in Melbourne with a global reputation for excellence and a wonderful Aboriginal support unit. Students have worked with Melbourne University to understand more about careers in science and archaeology and at school have begun a Big Sister program aimed at teaching them conflict management and resilience skills so that they can support younger students in the school community.

Every Monday the VCAL girls work with Barkinji Warrior and Jui Jitsu champion, Shantelle Thompson, to learn self-defence and fitness skills. Some students have also had the opportunity to work with the esteemed author Anita Heiss this term to produce a book of writing that will be launched in September. It has been an amazing term with great things to come!

Culture Day Term 1

Each term the College holds a Culture Day which is entirely organised by the student body. It is a day of cultural celebration with bush tucker, dance and song. The girls plan the program and cook and serve the food.

Indigenous Literacy Project – Writing Workshop

A group of very privileged Worawa students spent five days creating their own stories, guided by Dr Anita Heiss and Shelley Ware from the Indigenous Literacy Project. This project works across Australia, particularly with regional and remote communities, to encourage young Indigenous people to share their stories, to read and write. The Project provides books to communities and runs workshops for student writers. The stories and art produced are published in beautiful books which are distributed throughout the country.

Anita Heiss, of the Wiradjuri nation, is an author, poet and presenter. She has written over 20 books, many of which have won major awards. She writes in every style, fiction and non-fiction. Anita is very proud to help teach young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls to write and describe the world we live in and the experiences we have had. Shelley Ware is a presenter on the NITV-SBS football program Marngrook, and a speaker at many important events, especially encouraging opportunities and confidence for young indigenous women. She is also a primary school teacher in Melbourne. Her people are from South Australia and Western Australia.

Over the week, we wrote four or five pieces of writing each and selected personal photos and artworks – BUT not just to keep for ourselves. A book, which we have named Deadly Sisters, will be launched on September 5, at Federation Square, right in the centre of Melbourne. Each of us has four pages in the book, which will have our stories and our pictures. We will each be given 10 copies of the book to keep and share with family and friends, and the school will receive many copies. But that’s not all – copies of our book will go out to communities all over Australia for the children to read and enjoy, and to inspire them to tell their stories too.

We want to keep all our stories as a surprise for you until the book is published, but we can tell you that we wrote about many, many different things – including friendship, the Dreaming Trail, fantasy, family. We used all five senses to inspire our ideas and used our emotions when we were talking and writing about our personal sacred places. Sometimes it was hard to get ideas started and to believe in ourselves, but we did it and in a few months’ time we will be genuine published authors, with our stories being read by literally hundreds of other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and boys. We are the Deadly Sisters!


The textile class has begun by learning about the two major types of fibres, protein (animal) fibres and cellulose (plant) fibres. We have learned about how we need to prepare fabric for dyeing and using mordants to make colour ‘bite’ the fabric. We have prepared a range of fabrics and fibres by pre-mordanting in alum, copper and iron. We have made these mordants ourselves by leaving metal scraps in vinegar to develop.We have begun dyeing various fabrics in indigo, native cherry, eucalyptus nicholi, and Californian logwood.


During Term 1 students have expanded their scientific understanding through an updated curriculum which encompasses all areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as firmly placing Aboriginal knowledge within the scientific field through an in-depth study of the Seasonal Calendars produced by Aboriginal communities and Elders in partnership with the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. The students at Worawa are taking on the role of scientist as they conduct research, fieldwork and test out different technologies to create their own Seasonal Calendar for Worawa! In Term 2 we will delve even further into the current and cutting-edge industry as students participate in a solar panel research project with the CSIRO, develop a website and phone app with staff and students from Melbourne University and design the casing for personal electronic devices using 3D printing technology. We feel it is important to provide our students with the skills and knowledge to engage with the industries and careers of the future and aim to do this through the hands-on experiences provided in our STEM program.


In literacy class, students have been examining the features of both narratives and persuasive texts. Students studied Oliver Twist and discussed the Orientation, Complication and Resolution of a narrative.

Students are now studying a persuasive letter written by Oliver to the head of the board, appealing for better food, better sleeping conditions and the opportunity to receive an education. They are learning about building an argument and expressing an opinion.

In addition, students have been learning a range of new words to express feelings, a favourite of these was describing the angry behaviour as ‘going postal’. We have begun now to study a list of new words to describe our strengths, such as ‘intelligent’, ‘conscientious’, and ‘reliable’.

This list will continue to expand as we discover more of our strengths!

Visual Art

Worawa enjoys a strong tradition of high quality, skilful and beautiful Visual Art. Our experienced Art Teacher who has had international and national exhibitions highlighting talented student work is a mark of this success. He ensures that process, technique and medium are presented and researched by the students, so they have the tools to develop as unique artists while honouring tradition.

Using short exercises students develop skills and competencies. Our students bring with them a range of traditions and particular styles of Art. These are encouraged and incorporated into the program while experimentation and development are equally valued. This term the students have worked with pattern and repeating of the theme to create art. This was a three process technique that has delivered interesting and complex artworks. Visual Art at Worawa is both unique and best practice. We are justly proud of our student’s creations.

In dance this term we have been very fortunate to have the Footsteps Company with us again. In this class, we use a variety of exercises and movements that most girls conquer with some effort. This term was about ‘tasting’ the modern dance classes so we programmed all students to have classes. Next term, Dance with being a part of the Creative Arts Elective.

Some of our girls shared dances they dance at home (where it was ‘right’ to do so). They also taught one another the ‘North Wind Dance’ Lungurrma. This lovely dance is a popular one amongst the girls and it is a dance that most can learn and enjoy. It has been wonderful to see the girls dancing together to that song. Next term there will be a time made for girls to share the traditional dance on a regular basis.

Aboriginal people have used theatre and theatrical methods to tell their stories for millennia. We start from that premise. This term we have learned all about mime and story-telling. We also learn about body language and how we are always communicating. The theatre is a time where young girls can have fun learning about different ways to communicate. Older students also learn to tell stories in many interesting ways. Once again, there is a focus on Indigenous ways and knowledge. Next term we will be performing stories and poems. More mature students have been learning about creating the story using mime technique. They were challenged to tell some of their own stories using mime alone. It was very challenging, but all girls managed to take part and were extremely proud of their results.

Theatre/Drama Education is a huge opportunity to express concerns and stories. It is a time in high school where students learn about their own worth and the worth of their stories.

We are looking forward to bringing these stories to life next term.

Homework Club

From the start of 2018, a ‘Homework Support Group’ has been running during the last period of the day, on both Monday and Thursday. The work reflects what is being done in class, where the homework group, supports students to master Literacy and Numeracy skills by allowing more practice and one on one or small group support.

Along with our regular classroom teachers, six volunteers assist the students in Literacy and Numeracy. Students have reported that they have enjoyed more ‘intense’ support, particularly interacting with the volunteers.

Students also appreciated being able to read one on one and to other students and the wide variety of activities. Many mentioned that they had learned Mathematics through playing games and they were practising talking together and learning to problem solve at their own pace.

The Creative Arts at Worawa

The Arts at Worawa frequently take centre stage. As a College who believes Culture should be central to everything we do, we understand that for Aboriginal people the Arts are more important than a mere subject. Singing, dancing, miming, painting, drawing – all of the arts are integral to our traditional way of life. Now, in 2018 the Arts remain important in our expression of who we are and where we are going. At School this term there have been some new artists demonstrating that they are the up and coming great artists of our time.


Our College enjoyed a whole school excursion to the Kilsyth Basketball Stadium to cheer on two of our three basketball teams, the Kookaburras and the Eagles, who made it to the grand final of the Kilsyth Basketball Association. Despite a stirling effort and the loudest cheer squad ever, neither team took home the pennant, but lots of resolve to try harder next season.

Our Lady Eaglehawks football teams will take to the footy ground next term and girls will undergo a Basic Umpire Training certificate course conducted by AFL Victoria.

Many students play in one of the three College netball teams. Some girls play football, basketball and netball!.

Our school is preparing for our annual Reconciliation Sports Carnival which will be held on Tuesday 22 May.

Download Term 1 Newsletter 2018

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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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.


RSVP is now closed.

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

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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.