1. New classroom at the Watarrka Primary School, Lilla

The major project being undertaken by the Foundation in 2018 is the construction and fit out of a new classroom for the Watarrka Primary School at Lilla.

The new classroom will provide an solution to children currently attend the Watarrka Primary School and are too old for primary school. These top aged primary school children’s formal education will most likely end if a secondary school educational facility is not provided. The new classroom will provide the facilities for the School. The Watarrka Primary School is the top performing remote primary school in the Northern Territory by literacy and numeracy and as a result of this success the Watarrka Primary School Principal has been granted approval to teach students up to Year 10 by the Northern Territory Education Department.

The cost of the new building at the Watarrka Primary School is $400,000 and the construction will begin on 1 April 2018 with expected completion by August.

We have funding commitments and raised funds of $325,000 and are seeking to raise the final $75,000 required during the first half of 2018.

2. Establishment of a Secondary School campus

The Watarrka Foundation in conjunction with a metropolitian school is seeking to facilitate the development a remote secondary school campus in the Watarrka region. for remote indigenous and non-indigenous students. The benefits of the campus will provide;

(a) the local aboriginal students access to ‘leading’ and ‘best practice’ teaching resources up to year 12 and will maximise their chances of attaining a successful secondary education and

(b) the non-indigenous students and teachers (from a partnering metropolitan private school) a deep immersive understanding of indigenous experience that promotes transformational social and cultural integration with Australia’s indigenous people.

It is anticipated that the proposed ‘on country’ secondary school, will ultimately be attended by up to 60 indigenous students who will likely come from the three local remote primary schools – Watarrka, Areyonga and Imanpa.

The Foundation is working to facilitate the establishment of this ‘on country’ secondary school by working with relevant stakeholders to achieve the following:

  • Securing a site for the Secondary School;
  • Engaging and obtaining committed support from one or more metropolitan secondary schools;
  • Obtaining committed support of the Northern Territory Department of Education;
  • Development of an integrated business plan for the secondary school including a financial model and operational component;
  • Legal agreements between relevant parties to ensure clarity of responsibility and delivery of project objectives;
  • Implementation of business plan so that the school becomes operational on a sustainable and enduring basis.

This is a medium term project for the Foundation.

3. 2018 Annual Sports & Story Telling Festival, Lilla

The Foundation have facilitated the highly successful Sports & Story Telling Festivals in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The 2018 SPORTS AND STORY TELLING FESTIVAL is being held this year from 28 August to 2 September 2018. This years Festival will bring together the children from the Watarrka, Imanpa, Areyonga and Fink primary schools for 2 action packed days of fun and activities. The children (aged 7 to 13 years old), their teaching staff and elders from each community will attend the Festival. The festival will be held at Lilla.

4. Maintenance of the Fruit and Vegetable gardens at Lilla, Wanmarra, Ulpanyali and at the Watarrka Primary School

The Foundation has worked for many years establishing fruit plantations and vegetable gardens for the local communities. We work closely with Slow Foods New South Wales to manage, replant and carry out maintenance of the established gardens.

5.Maintenance of the Fat Bikes at the Watarrka Primary School

In 2016 the Foundation provided the Watarrka Primary School with 24 Fat Bikes. The desert environment and children are extremely harsh on the bikes and extensive ongoing maintenance of the bikes is undertaken. The servicing and replacement of worn parts is generously undertaken by Chris Hakanson (Kings Canyon Medical staff member and keen mountain biker). The bikes have been extremely popular with the children and act a carrot to get them to attend school. ‘if your not at school, you can’t ride the bikes’

6. Fresh fruit and Vegetables for the Watarrka Primary School / Food Van

The Foundation has committed that each child at School will receive breakfast and lunch at School. In conjunction with the local Resort the Foundation ensures the School has the resources to achieve this. Providing breakfast acts as an enticement for the children to attend school and it improves the children’s concentration in class.

7. Annual winter Clothing Appeal

The Foundation collects donated clothes for the communities in the Watarrka region. Getting the clothes to Watarrka often incurs an expense.

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