The Watarrka Foundation is proud to announce that construction on the new school classroom has begun! After months of fundraising drives and hard work from our internal team, as well as the fantastic support from all of our donors, we have been able to move ahead with the construction of the new classroom at the Watarrka Primary School in Lilla. 

A bit about the classroom

Building this new classroom provides a much needed facility which will allow the local children in the Watarrka region to stay at school up until year 10, when they are 15 - 16 years of age. 

Currently the Watarrka School only has the capacity to teach children up till year 6, meaning their school education ends there, or if they wish to continue their education, they need to move away from their families to Alice Springs, or go to boarding school in order to complete their secondary schooling. 

Thanks to the dedication and passion of the Watarrka Primary School teachers, in 2017 the NT Department of Education recognised the Watarrka School as one of the top performing remote primary schools in the Northern Territory (measured by literacy and numeracy). Additionally, the Education Department has granted Christine Munro, the Watarrka Primary School Principal approval to teach students up to Year 10. 

The new building will have 3 rooms: a large open plan classroom (15m x 6.5m), a computer room and an office for the teaching staff. The plan is for the new classroom to be complete for the beginning of the 2019 school year. 

By building the new classroom, children in the Watarrka region will have the opportunity to further their education while remaining on country. 

Paul Jensen, Chairman of the Watarrka Foundation said:

“This is a very exciting milestone for the children in the Watarrka region and one we hope is a major stepping stone to our ultimate vision of establishing an on country secondary school in the Watarrka region.”


Why the new classroom is important

Unfortunately we’ve seen too many promising students that have graduated from the Watarrka Primary School, move away to seek secondary education, and either not pursue and continue their schooling or become victims to drug abuse and violence in Alice Springs. These children deserve better than this.

By building this new classroom, the Watarrka Foundation will provide these children with the tools they require to enter adulthood, and allow them to learn and develop whilst staying in their chosen communities with their family and elders.
Shem, Claudia, Kym Willet and Manna from Mentone Grammar with Vera and Vivienne at the recent Spots & Storytelling Festival at Lilla. Vivienne is currently a top age student at the Watarrka Primary School and will be a foundation student in the new classroom next year. 

What you can do to get involved

The Watarrka Foundation has successfully raised the $340,000 required for the construction of the new classroom, and is currently putting in place arrangements to fund the fit-out of the classroom. The budget for the fit-out is $60,000.

Paul Jensen, Chairman of the Watarrka Foundation said:


"Despite not yet having the full construction amount funded, the Watarrka Foundation Board resolved to begin construction now as the Watarrka region children’s’ education and futures are at stake, and this is the main priority of our Foundation."

Every donation counts, and we truly appreciate any assistance from our community to enable us to undertake our 2018-19 community projects. Tax deductible donations can be made through our online portal here or by downloading the Watarrka Foundation app through the app store or Google play.


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