Community-based research was conducted by local Yolŋu researchers (one Senior and two younger researchers in training). Participants were asked to present their views on pathways to further education, challenges and aspirations for themselves and future generations. Findings present local view on what has worked well in their own education journey: in the past teachers used to put greater emphasis in writing and speaking Yolŋu Matha and English and local people who acquired a diploma or degree had increased confidence in achieving their career objectives. Challenges mentioned were not having academic English to pursue further education and having to leave community to further their studies while meeting cultural obligations. Recommendations given by interview participants included: continued student mentoring and Yolŋu teacher support in schools; case management arrangements between parents, teachers and school to support students with learning difficulties; learning content to be more engaging and culturally responsive; more support with English Literacy and Numeracy for students and community members.Eighteen individual interviews were conducted, which included three school graduates, two school teachers, seven parents and six other community members.
Throughout the WCE initiative there have also been discussions about the role and function of boarding schools. Concerns were raised in relation to boarding schools not effectively communicating with parents about the education pathways being offered. These have been documented but not actions were developed in relation to these findings.
Yalu staff working on WCE research questions
Margaret, Mitja, Shelley, Eliani & Terry working together on mentoring activities between WCE, Yalu and Shepherdson College