From November 2014 to November 2017 I was the principal at Bayulu Remote Community School, a WA Department of Education school located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The school is located on Gogo Station, 16 km from Fitzroy Crossing in the fertile Fitzroy Valley. It’s a 3 and a half hour drive to Broome, the Kimberley’s largest centre.
Of the 38 remote schools in WA, Bayulu is one of the larger ones and catered for about 120 students when I was there. The vast majority of the students are indigenous and reside in the nearby Aboriginal communities of Bayulu, Gillarong, 8 Mile, Karnparrmi, Ngalingkadji and Mimbi. Most students come from an EAL/D background, speaking either Kriol, Gooniyandi or Walmajarri as well as Standard Australian English. In 2016 the school had a principal, deputy, 10 teachers, 4 Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers, 3 Education Assistants, school officer, gardener/handyman, library officer and lunch program coordinator. The school was very proud to be awarded the 2017 WA Premier’s Excellence in Aboriginal Education Award.
I feel the videos below best encapsulate the essence of the school. The first tells the story behind our 2015 Artist-in-Residence program. The second is the result of an amazing week working with the Indigenous Hip-Hop Project in June, 2017.