Darkinjung Barker, Ngarralingayil Barker and Dhupuma Barker recognise the importance of upholding Aboriginal cultural identities as we strive to close the gap educationally.
Located just 20km from Wyong, Darkinjung Barker occupies the site of the original Yarramalong Public School, which was first opened in 1870. This picturesque site provides ample space for the students to run, play, explore and learn. The establishment of this unique school is the result of the support of the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Council of Barker College. Local community, parents and guardians, staff members, students and alumni have also been involved since its establishment.
In 2020, Ngarralingayil Barker, was opened and is located at Wollombi on the site of the former Wollombi Public School, 45 minutes north of Yarramalong. It caters to students from the Cessnock, Maitland and Kurri Kurri area.
‘Ngarralingayil’ means ‘a place where learning happens’ in the Wonnarua language.
The establishment of this campus was the culmination of over a year of planning and discussions between the communities at Barker College, Wollombi and the Lower Hunter. We all share the vision of creating a two-way partnership where we can learn from one another using the educational model that has proven to be so successful at Darkinjung Barker.
The Kindergarten to Year 6 school is coeducational and can cater for up to 40 students.
A priority for both schools is the development of strong foundational skills in literacy and numeracy for Indigenous students from Kindergarten to Year 6, with the intent to instil a confidence to learn and a desire to learn.
In 2021, Dhupuma Barker opened as a bilingual primary school for Yolŋu children from the community at Gunyangara in North East Arnhem. The School is a partnership between the Yothu Yindi Foundation and Barker College, aspiring to revive the ideals of the former Dhupuma College, and prioritise Yolŋu Matha (language), Rom (culture, knowledge) and Galtha (ways of learning).
The opening of Dhupuma Barker is the first step in a broader vision for Yolŋu education in the region. The primary school, with an attached early childhood education program, is the start of what will ultimately be a whole of life education project, on which Yothu Yindi Foundation have partnered with Studio Schools Australia and Melbourne University to deliver high school and tertiary education.
Darkinjung Barker, Ngarralingayil Barker and Dhupuma Barker represent an educational model that is unique in Australia.