Something momentous occurred on April 19 2021: Dhupuma Barker School commenced in Gunyangara in NE Arnhem Land.

The homeland community at Gunyangara created a special ceremony, led by former Australian of the Year and Yolngu elder, Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM. To the sound of the yidaki, the community danced beneath the sign and into the new school room, which now is the home of an independent school for the Aboriginal community living in that part of Arnhem Land. The modest buildings that were formerly an annex of Nhulunbuy Primary School (about 20 kms away) now host something magnificent, something incredibly important – a truly respectful, bilingual, two-way learning model of partnership that leads to reconciliation between First Nation and the emerging Australia.

For the past two years, Barker has been working with the Yothu Yindi Foundation to create the Dhupuma Barker school. It is the first of an expansive vision of three parallel enterprises with three different partners of YYF – Barker, Studio Schools Australia (SSA) and the University of Melbourne. SSA hopes to establish a boarding school for secondary school students in the Gove Peninsula. Melbourne University intend to establish a Bush University, which we hope will be located at Gunyangara, near to the Dhupuma Barker site. The vision is to provide cradle to University education on country, leading to post employment pathways in the region. This is big.

The Barker Vision is to inspire Global Hope, to look beyond the Mint Gates to search for ways in which the Barker education can enrich and enable the lives of others. The steady work of Barker Global in the establishment of Darkinjung, Ngarralingayil and now Dhupuma Barker is evidence that the language of Vision is something stronger than a laminated document on a wall. It is an abiding, driving and inspiring purpose for the future of all involved in our School. Australia continues to struggle with profound questions that arise from our origins in this continent – we can do nothing about this. But we can do something about equipping a new generation with a sense of capacity, character, and confidence in the Barker way.

If you have a moment, please view the Sky News coverage of the event in this short clip: