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Students from Gunbalanya School graduate

15 January 2024

The end of 2023 saw the Territory’s highest number of Aboriginal students graduate year 12 and complete their high schooling.

More than 212 Aboriginal students received their Certificate of Education, and on Thursday 11 students from Gunbalanya graduated on country.

Gunbalanya School operates on a Flexi School Calendar, based on the Kunwinjku Seasons and cultural movements of local people. There are 230 students enrolled from transition to Year 12 at the school, in addition to the Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program which first started in 2010 at Gunbalanya.

The Territory Government’s $12.9 million FaFT program has played a significant role in the education journey of the completers, with the program delivering quality early learning and parent support programs to young children and their families.

The Gunbalanya School Secondary Campus /Trades Training Centre enables strong industry pathways for students and community and has been a development area for Year 12 students.

It is to be noted that all of the graduating students at Gunbalanya have completed their NTCET without a VET component and averaged levels B and C in their final scores.

Chief Minister Eva Lawler said, “Every single child, no matter where they live, deserves a quality education, and quality access to learning resources.

“Congratulations to the 11 students who have graduated in Gunbalanya, it has been an honour to celebrate and acknowledge your hard work.

“This graduation is proof of what quality education can do. What quality policy settings looks like. These students took part in a Territory Labor Government initiative when they were children. Taking part in FaFT from a young age, set up these young people and their families for a successful future.

“The Territory Labor Government will continue to invest in life changing programs that we see results in; because that benefits the entire Territory.”

Minister for Education, Mark Monaghan said, “This is a special day for these 11 Gunbalanya school students. You have made your community and families proud.

“Quality programs from day one, year one, are so important for a child’s development and future prospects.

“This is why you will see the Territory Labor Government continuing to invest in programs like FaFT, and why we make sure the Territory is funded and has the resources to deliver education to all Territory kids, no matter if you are the bush or in the city.”

Gunbalanya School Co-Principal Esther Djayhgurrnga said, “I am proud of the graduating students and what they have achieved while they have been at Gunbalanya School. They are role models for the next generation of students who can aim for the same high level of achievement.”

Gunbalanya School Co-Principal Sue Trimble said, “Today we celebrate 11 graduates with NTCET. We are reminded that the educational journey began in FaFT and early years for the students. We all have a responsibility to grow our students. The importance of the family partnership in education is crucial to success of our youth.”