More than a Primary School
Dhupuma Barker, Ngarralingayil Barker and Darkinjung Barker are more than primary schools for children – they are a step towards reconciliation where children are provided with the safety and care to walk in two worlds. 2022 holds great promise for the students and staff at each of these schools and we are delighted to share some of the recent developments and plans with you.
Although it is over 4000 kms away from Hornsby, Barker has entered the big story of Australian reconciliation and renewal. We thank the Yothu Yindi Foundation, the Gumatj Corporation and the beautiful people and djarrmakuli of Gunyangara for welcoming our school into their lives.
In February 2022, Phillip Heath, Martin Lubrano, Head of Barker’s Junior School and Alison Binet, Deputy Head People & Culture, had the pleasure of visiting the children and staff at Dhupuma Barker to witness firsthand the marvellous things being achieved. Despite the numerous challenges of the three terms of Dhupuma Barker’s existence, attendance has increased for every child and real learning is occurring every day. What’s even more fulfilling, is the enthusiasm of the Yolngu community of Gunyangara.
The children speak Yolngu Matha and learn in two languages throughout the day. Yolngu culture is celebrated in word and ceremony and provides the foundation from which the children can access the world safely and confidently. The addition of the new Dhupuma Barker bus in 2022 has been welcomed by students and their families and has had a positive impact on the daily attendance numbers. The average attendance this term has risen to 73% per day with several students demonstrating 100% attendance in the first four weeks of Term 1.
Building a Permanent School
Our focus now turns to raising the necessary funds to build the much-needed purpose-built school. The current facilities are inadequate for the children and the staff. Approaches have already been made to the Federal and State Governments and local Foundations for financial support and we invite you to help make a permanent home for Dhupuma Barker a reality. If you would like to make a donation you can contribute HERE.
Darkinjung Barker and Ngarralingayil Barker
We are delighted with the strong enrolment numbers this year at Ngarralingayil Barker (23 students) and at Darkinjung Barker (36 students). Mandy Shaw, who has been teaching at Ngarralingayil since its opening, has been appointed as the first Indigenous Head of the NSW Campuses and leads the day-to-day operation.
These schools have also developed partnerships with MultiLit and Good to Great Schools, as we continue the focus on lifting Literacy and Numeracy standards. We are also very aware that our underlying foundation is the special cultural identity of our Aboriginal community members. Our shared vision of learning from one another continues to guide our teaching and learning, as we look to grow in understanding and harmony.
The children in our three schools are achieving so much – despite incredibly difficult circumstances of the pandemic, floods and access to resources, students are attending so faithfully and making inspiring progress. The support of the families and the Indigenous communities is helping our marvellous teachers to achieve something astounding.