Presentation Day is the College’s premier event held annually at the end of the school year, a day when we celebrate the achievement of our students. On 11 December around 300 guests joined the school community to acknowledge and celebrate our students progression and success.
This year’s event was a particular celebration when we farewelled the College’s first Year 12 VCAL graduates; Rochelle Tipiloura, Tiara Douglas, Katelyn Woodhouse, Dorothea Tipiloura and Justine Ronberg. Board Chairman Tom Bell spoke about the significance of this occasion when he said: ‘It is with pride that we commend our first graduands of Senior VCAL 2019. Much more than a usual Senior VCAL, these students have completed a series of certificates and extra course work to prepare for the next step in their future. They have spent long months away from home, boarding here with us, working to create lives that will positively impact their communities and families. We are grateful to have family and community members here to celebrate with us today. It is certainly a time of great celebration as these young ladies are ‘First in Family’. These students can see that their effort, resilience and rigour have come to fruition. They have achieved a senior level of education and through their own effort, they have increased their choices and the opportunities open to them. While it seems an understatement, we would like to say ‘Well Done’ to this inaugural group of VCAL graduands.
Presentation Day 2019
The graduation of five girls with a Year 12 Victorian Certificate in Applied Learning (VCAL) was the highpoint of our Presentation Day as the College saw the first graduates of the VCAL program introduced into Worawa in 2018.
The day was imbued with culture, commencing with a ceremonial procession of the young women who attend Worawa, led by Cultural Leader, Aunty Zeta Thomson and Principal, Dr Lois Peeler AM.
The Welcome to Country by Aunty Zeta relayed aspects of Connection to Country and history of the iconic site on which the College is located.
Mandy Nicholson, respected leader of Wurundjeri all-female Djirri Djirri Cultural Services, addressed guests in Woiwurrung language providing interpretation of the dances performed and their particular relevance to Wurundjeri people.
Principal Dr Lois Peeler AM, reminded guests of the College Founder Hyllus Maris’ vision, “It was Hyllus’ vision that our young people receive an education that equipped them to capitalise upon any, and all opportunities life may present them, and to do so in the full and positive knowledge of who they are as Aboriginal people.”
A stirring keynote address was delivered by Nova Peris OAM who shared her personal experience and her Mother’s love, guidance and belief in education, which enabled Nova in her amazing career as an Olympian and being the first Indigenous woman in Federal Parliament.
The Worawa Cultural Group, led by Kyanna McIntosh from Galiwinku and Shania Ryan from Milingimbi performed the beautiful
Girls from the Australian Girl’s Choir joined the Worawa choral group to sing the College’s favourite song in Yorta Yorta language, Ngarra Burra Ferra.
A number of awards were presented to students in recognition of personal effort and achievement. The awards ceremony acknowledged student support by key partners who presented the students with an award in the category which they sponsored.
The presentation of VCAL certificates by the Principal to senior students was an emotional and joyous occasion topping off a wonderful day.
Representatives of organisations in which the College has a partnership, presented awards to students who were identified for outstanding leadership and performance in a range of areas. Included were:
- University of Melbourne
- Latrobe University
- Swinburne University
- RMIT University
- Emeritus Professor Martin Comte OAM
- Typecaste Entertainment
- Healesville Sanctuary
- Department of Justice and Community Safety
- Schiavello Ganbu
- 22nd Engineer Regiment, Australian Army
- The Holland Foundation
- Koori Justice Unit, Department of Justice and Community Safety
- Children’s Court of Victoria
- Commission for Children and Young People
- Australian Defence Force Long Tan Award
- Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
Wadeye Family Celebrate Graduation
The Tipiloura family and friends from Wadeye Community in the Northern Territory, travelled to Worawa to celebrate the ‘first in family’ graduation of Rochelle and Dorothea Tipiloura.
Rochelle gave the Student Address where she introduced herself in her home language of Murrinh – patha and spoke of her years at the College and making the transition from her home community to Worawa. Rochelle was awarded the College’s premier award The Hyllus Maris Memorial Award.
Dorothea’s mother and father, Rosaria and Moses Tipiloura gave the Parent Response and spoke of the family’s pride in their girls’ graduation.
A large group of family and friends from Wadeye performed traditional dance in honour of Rochelle and Dorothea to celebrate their success.
This term the Sports Academy completed the Indigenous Leadership Program with Priscilla Smith from Athletics Australia. Every Wednesday students undertook a theoretical and practical session on different aspects of leadership and coaching.
Sessions focused on communication, training beginner athletes, being a leader, making connections and team work. Students concluded the course by conducting the Grade 3 and 4 classes at Haileybury College in Keysborough. The students delivered a well thought out program for the junior school students, which included gathering and setting up equipment for the activities.
The goals of the Indigenous Leadership Program are to instill confidence and self-respect, promote resilience and create foundations for future leaders in communities. The students in Sports Academy delivered a planned program for the primary school students demonstrating the skills they have learned over the term and illustrating that they are growing as respectful, empathetic and responsible citizens.
Cultures Without Borders
Earlier this term students at Worawa were invited to participate in an exciting multi-cultural mural project coordinated by the Jewish charitable organisation, Courage to Care. The project meant that Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Aboriginal students aged 13-15 met on a Sunday in early December to work with the mural artist Peter Cto.
Students worked with youth leaders from all communities to share their ideas of what a culture without borders might look like and to discuss concepts of justice and equality.
They were also asked to consider how an Upstander might behave as opposed to a Bystander when oppression has been on the national or global agenda. Worawa students enjoyed working with other young people to formulate ideas and opinions.
After a vegetarian lunch, all 40 young people moved to the site of the mural and worked together to create a wall that represented their shared work and the concept of cultures without borders. It was an amazing opportunity for students to share culture, beliefs and shared values.
Studying Water and the Atmosphere
For our Term 4 STEAM lessons students have studied Earth and Space Sciences looking at the Water Cycle and the Atmosphere. To study the Water Cycle up close we worked in pairs to create terrariums. A terrarium is a sealed glass container within which plants are grown. Students were able to watch the water filter through the soil and become stored in the pebbles underneath. They also saw the evaporated water condense along the top of the terrarium and precipitate back down the glass walls or sometimes fall as large drops directly from the top of the terrarium. Terrarium building was a fun way to visualize the Water Cycle at work.
Our 7/8 Cumbungi class was lucky to further their study of water with a visit to a working science laboratory at Melbourne University. They used a range of equipment to determine the quality of various water samples. During their tests they determined the number of particles in each sample, the clarity of the sample and the PH level of the sample. They also used a powerful microscope to see if there were any living organisms in the samples. We were excited to discover the water coming out of the taps at Worawa has a higher level of purity than the water at Melbourne University. The Worawa teachers were also very pleased to scientifically prove that the water in the outdoor water fountains is exactly the same as the water in the ice machine in the dining room.
Caring for Country
This term during Caring for Country, years 7 and 8 have focused on the unit ‘Place and Liveability’. Students explored the interconnection between place, people and the environment. Students planned and created their own ‘mini city’ using recycling from around the School.
The numerous components which make up a place and contribute to its liveability were carefully placed within the diorama, as students considered the access to schools, hospitals, greenspaces, Dreaming spaces and street lights for safety. Students justified their ‘mini city’ model, explaining why they have chosen to include the components within it, as well as the placement of schools beside greenspaces allowing children safe and easy access to play.
In years 9 and 10, students continued with the unit ‘Geographies of Human Wellbeing’. Leading on from last term students investigated Global issues found amongst social development and spatial variations. Students explored programs designed to reduce the gap between these differences. Using the Global Sustainable Development Goals made by the United Nations, students researched the role of international and national initiatives designed to reduce inequalities. Case studies were drawn from Australia and other countries within Asia and Africa and Europe. Students researched, planned and created a debate, challenging the statement ‘The Global Goals are a Waste of Time’. The results were analysed and reflected upon in order to draw conclusions about the authenticity of the 2030 Goals.
On Wednesday 27th of November, VCAL students ventured into the city to visit the ABC studios at Southbank where senior student Rochelle, a winner in the ABC Heywire Competition, could record her story titled ‘Police Women.’
The morning commenced with a tour around the ABC studios, where the students sat in the recording studio for both TV and radio. During the tours we met with lots of employees who gave us insightful information about careers in journalism, radio, television, media and about the amazing opportunities that arise from this particular sort of work.
The next part of the day saw us head up to the Triple J offices, where each student had the opportunity to record short snippets for the radio station. Students had lots of fun reading off the script, changing their expression and recording into a microphone. We look forward to hearing the Worawa girls on Triple J next year.
The final part of the day involved Rochelle recording her winning ABC Heywire piece. Sitting in a studio was something new for us all, but Rochelle read her story confidently and spoke with great pride. We can’t wait to see the final product and hear about Rochelle’s all-expenses paid trip to Canberra, at the beginning of 2020.