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Archives » Worawa » About

Worawa Aboriginal College

Worawa Aboriginal College is situated on the 135-acre picturesque Barak Park, 5 minutes from Healesville. This land is of significance to Aboriginal people. Originally part of the traditional land of Barak, who was present at the signing of the 1835 treaty with John Batman, it later became part of the Coranderrk Aboriginal Reserve, home for generations of Aboriginal people in southern Australia.

Worawa is uniquely characterized by its independence. An Aboriginal Management Committee controls the college. The committee makes policy decisions directing the day to day life of the school. Regular meetings occur between the committee president and the principal.

Worawa is a residential college with accommodation for 50 students who can live in a non-threatening environment with an atmosphere that enhances their Aboriginal cultural values. Culture is integrated into all they do and learn throughout their daily routines with additional sporting and cultural activities on offer.

At Worawa Independent Aboriginal College there is a huge oval, tennis and basketball courts, science, computer, art and recreation rooms.

The school tackles social issues facing students today. Lectures by local police are held on the dangers of alcohol, speeding, smoking and drugs. Trips are organized to visit health centers specializing in Indigenous health issues.

Worawa Aboriginal College aims to deliver education specific to Aboriginal culture combining both traditional and current mainstream curriculum. Catering for year7 to year 12 (VCE)
Worawa places a high emphasis on teaching students about their heritage and is the only school that teaches two Indigenous languages to VCE level. Yorta yorta and Wurrundjerri. Students are taught not only to develop their intellectual and physical talents, but are also encouraged to explore their moral, emotional, mental and spiritual sense.

This program is an integral part of the Worawa curriculum. In accordance with traditional practice, Aboriginal cultural instructors take girls and boys separately for tuition six lessons each week. This aims to reinforce and support the student's Aboriginal identity.

(School Poem-English)
'Spiritual Song of the Aborigine'

---Hyllus Maris---
I am a student of the dreamtime people
part of this land like the gnarled gum tree
I am the river softly singing
chanting our songs on the way to the sea
My spirit is the dust devils
mirages that dance on the plains
I'm the snow, the wind and the falling rain
I'm part of the rocks and the red desert earth
red as the blood that flows in my veins
I am an eagle, crow and snake that glides
through the rain forests that cling to the
I awakened here when the earth was new…
there was emu, wombat, kangaroo
no other man of 'differen' hue!
I am this land and this land is me
I am Australia

(Yorta Yorta)

'Spiritual Song of the Aborigine'

---Hyllus Maris---
Nga yalka wungi yiliin /
Nya yalka wokka-n / nawia biyala dungudja /
Nga dangala bayiya yiita /
bayiya yiita yamma /
Nga yalka bayimi-n / galyan wakka-n /
Nga yingaba / Nga baya / Nga gagorak /
Nga iyorga pudthoga /
nawia mowa ngieni bawu /
Nga worawa / Nga dungamai /
Nga gorna wunyuwala /
Nga deya gumbina / baubari-buwa /
bigerumdja, / munyanga, / gayima
gaba yorta! /
Nga galyan wokka / galyan wokka Nga /
Nga deya wungi wokka /


Focal Point Yarra Valley 2009