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 Ngalangangpum School - 2007




Principal’s Report 2007

Sr Alma Cabassi rsj









In this fortieth year since the Referendum we recall someof the words Pope John Paul II spoke to the gathering at Alice Springs in 1986. These words encourage you to keep your culture alive…

Your Dreaming influences your lives so strongly, that no matter what happens, you remain forever people of your

 culture. Your songs, your stories, your paintings, your dances, your languages must never be lost

The silence of the bush taught you a quietness of soul that put you in touch with another world, the world of God’s spirit.”

What a school year we have had!  It has been a year of lots of teaching and learning as well as

sad times, with special people dying, (like old man from Turner), some getting sick or needing to be with family and some people having to leave.

I believe that congratulations and thanks are due to all the teachers and staff for their part in helping the School Community, the students, your children, grow, learn and develop.


We welcomed the new teachers, Mrs Valda Mullavey and her husband Joe, Mr Robert McKayMr David Turfrey High School boys, Mr Nick Webber High School Maths and Science as well as IT, looking after the computers, Mrs Liz Webber  who helps with the Kindy/PrePrimary, with administration and the program for young mums and their little kids. Miss Liz Holmes came at the end of term three to take Mrs Valda’s class.  Mr Robert McKay left at the end of term one and Miss Hayley McNamarra came then left at the end of term three.  Mr Ben Johnston came for term four. 


CURRICULUM: We are still committed to teaching READING, WRITING and SPELLING through the new program called Accelerated Literacy. Sadly we didn’t get the help we needed from the Regional Office because they too had troubles and sickness.  Miss Valda was learning the new program and being the Literacy Coordinator but she had family troubles and her husband got sick.  We thank Valda for coming, with an enthusiastic and generous heart, to work at the school and for what was able to happen. The change over of teachers was disturbing because things had to start again and the staff felt the changes.

From the important testing of the children in the first and fourth terms we can see that there has been some good learning and results.  The most improved of each class will be rewarded for their efforts. Again it is the children who come to school every day who learn and achieve. WALNA results this year showed an improvement in spelling and writing.


The High School Program and timetable worked very well, encouraging a good number of regular attendees and success in

subject areas.  Thank you to Leanne Mahy for her leadership and to each teacher for their part in the helping the timetable to work.


Mrs Webber with the PSPI project has helped young mums know how to help their young children get ready for school learning.

One of the problems that make it hard for children to learn is the moving from one school to another.  Parents must realise that children

need to be given the best opportunity to be educated and take up the responsibility of getting them to school every day.  If you do have

to move make sure the children are enrolled in the school and help them get there on time each day.

During the July holidays Sr Mary trained in Interactive Drawing Therapy, IDT. This helps the students reflect on their feelings and behaviours.  Another program that has been introduced is the Seasons for Growth.  This ran in fourth term and we will have it again in 2008. These resources help your children understand their feelings, themselves and learn ways of making good choices.

COMMUNITY STAFF: have again been strong in their coming to work regularly.  Leanne Mosquito who works as Liaison and where ever there is a need (A real Mary MacKillop woman), has been invaluable though she had a sad time at the beginning of the year.  Lucinda grew in confidence and kept the meals coming from the Kitchen when Katie was away.  JJ has grown and has learnt new things.  Eileen, has enjoyed her year with the Kindy and PrePrimary Children. Rose came and gladdened our hearts by her energy and ability to take on responsibilities and keeping the class teacher sane.

Nicholas has been the mainstay with driving the troopy to Bow River each morning and when he had other commitments, Norman, Gordon, Shirley or others helped with this important job.

We had several other community people who came and worked for a while and when at school did a wonderful job but didn’t stay long.  Special thanks to Philomena for the days she came and helped in the classroom.


PSPI:  Parent School Participation Initiative has decreased though still important in that the finances received help

with nutritious food and the diabetes program as well as providing incentives for attendance and the school uniforms.




First Communion was a celebration of a small group receiving for the first time on Holy Thursday and another three later in term three.


Cross Cultural Visits: Groups of Students, from Genazzano, St Norberts, teachers from Newcastle Diocese NSW and the RATEP adult students under the guidance of Ian Hodges experienced the wonder of the Kimberley and the special aspects of this community.  The women from Queensland and Thursday IslandersI were particularly inspired by the Church leaders.  They encouraged us to use the Kija language in school.  Their help was needed when some of our teachers were sick.  Two way happened by helping and learning.


  • Mary MacKillop College Teachers from Victoria checking out how we can connect with IT.
  • Mary MacKillop Day celebration
  • School Day – 15th August – Mother and Child ritual and celebration
  • Fortnightly Assemblies where the children show their work and learn to speak in front of a group. 
  • Seasons for Growth training and small group sessions
  • Croc Festival where the students actually performed and were delighted with themselves and the teachers of course were proud.
  • Opening of the Police Station
  • Opening of the Art Centre and the students art work
  • Visiting performances who through their work teach about music, poetry, magic and mime, positive attitudes, as well as enjoyment.
  • Circus Oz



High School Sydney Education Excursion “Bush to theBig Smoke”

So many to thank for this amazing learning experience….the teachers especially Miss Leanne who planned and organised, Mr Turfrey for his help and encouragement, the Community Helpers John, Rose and Rosemary, the groups who gave us the financial assistance, Argyle, Gelganyen Trust, Kimberley Nickel and the Warmun Community from Good Neighbour Money.  The students who raised money and got money for spending and having Bank Accounts to manage their money. 


Visitors  included the School Dental Nurses, School Nurse, Speech and Occupation Therapist, Pam who helped with healthy ears, the staff at the Clinic with a variety of help, Clare from KMH, friends and family of teachers who shared their skills and knowledge,  Sisters and volunteers through Mirrilingki. Vanessa from Mary MacKillop School Wakely in Sydney and Renee Cabassi who works with Canteen (Teenagers with Cancer).


SPORTING ACTIVITIES:  We enjoyed the Garnduwa coaching days of football, basketball, netball and softball, cricket coaching and cricket competition in Kununurra, Eagle football cup, and this year the Gelganyen Softball cup. Todd Matin, Colin Cooper and Paul Bailey, helpers from Argyle came to provide football coaching each month.


The Athletics Sports Day with the addition of team names Crocodile, Kangaroo and Goanna and team colour tee-shirts added to the excitement and fun. Volunteers from Mirrilingki were again very helpful as were the parents who participated. Thank you to Leanne Mahy who did lots of the work in organising the program for the day and being chief steward. It was good to see the number of parents and family members who encouraged their children or was it more, who were entertained by their children.


Bluearth: June as the main leader in this experience of mind, body, spirit development in the second semester mentioned how much the children had grown and begun to think about what to do and why.  Meet the challenge.



Thank you to the Community and helpers who enabled school visits for Cross Cultural experience and other rituals and Liturgy…

  • To Father Mark for his work with us, visiting the school, meeting with us and preparing and leading our prayer celebrations,
  • Sr Theresa who always helps with students with Protective Behaviours, problems that might come to us, getting ready for Ngapuny Time, picking up people for meeting and being interested in all that is happening at school and telling others about school. Also for running a group in the Seasons Program.
  • The Police who have assisted Leanne in getting children to school and helping carers understand their responsibilities.
  •  Mirrilingki Sisters and volunteers who are always there supporting and helping us.
  • Clinic staff for their assistance and teaching.
  • Art Centre for their help with special days,
  • CEO, Mr Clare’s generosity in allowing CDEP help and other help when needed in providing for the school.
  • Community  and CDEP, office staff, MSP services,
  • Staff at the Hostel for caring so dedicatedly for our old people.
  • Early Learning Centre Wanyanyakem Taam, Cherrelle and helpers, for preparing the children for school.
  • Baz for the use of the facilities and helping out on sport days
  • Roadhouse staff for their help and friendliness, and the staff from the Wungkul Store for their support.
  • Max Butcher for all the work behind the scenes with his “fix it” skills whether computers, signs, vehicles, buildings …..




This is the sad part of the report where we need to acknowledge the teachers who left their family and country to teach here in this Community.  While we know that the teachers learn a lot and have the opportunity to enjoy what this Kija country shares it is still very generous that they come to teach here.

Mr and Mrs Sally Adams have been with us for five years, Ms Imogen Thompson and Miss Leanne Mahy for being here two years, Mr David  Turfrey for one year and to Mr Robert McKay, Miss Hayley McNamarra, Miss Liz Holmes and Mr Ben Johnston for a term each.

Thank you for what each of you contributed to the students and staff at Ngalangangpum School.  We offer you every blessing for the next part of your journey and pray it holds many exciting adventures.


May everyone have a happy and safe holiday.  With a grateful heart I pray that Ngapuny will keep you cool in your heart with love and peace.  May the rains bring lots of Bush food and may we all know that Ngapuny provides for all we need.


Please pray for good teachers for 2008.












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