Opening of Nawarddeken Academy Schools, West Arnhem Land (Kabulwarnamyo, Mamadawerre and Manmoyi)

Opening of Nawarddeken Academy Schools, West Arnhem Land
(Kabulwarnamyo, Mamadawerre and Manmoyi)

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Thank you so much for welcoming me to your country.

And thank you for sharing your wisdom with me today.

I’ve only been the Minister for Education for three weeks, but I have come here because I want to celebrate with you and because I want to learn from you.

I am very conscious that I stand on land that has been a place of learning and teaching for a millennia, and that today is just the next step in that story.

Margie told me the story today of her and Lois in the spring in 2014, when Lois told her of her father's vision to build a school, and her determination to make it a reality. 

I suspect that there have been a few tears shed today remembering that moment and everything that has been achieved since.

I want to thank the traditional owners of this incredible land for your vision, for your hard work.

I want to thank the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust for all of your work raising money from generous Australians right across the country who have helped to make the old man’s vision a reality here today.

These children who celebrate with us today are the true beneficiaries of that vision.

Living in two worlds isn’t easy, two worlds of Bininj and Balanda. 

But what we see today, and what we will see in the classrooms in a few moments time, are that what this school is doing is making that a reality – a “two toolbox education”.

Where children learn the culture of their ancestors and an education gives them the opportunities of the world.

Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this special day.

Like Eva, can I thank Olga and the team at the Nawarddeken Academy as well for the work that you do.

It is truly a privilege to share this moment with you today.

Thank you.