Kimberley history lesson for new teachers

The new teachers and CEO staff at the induction day (The eRecord)

Thirty-one teachers are settling into Catholic schools across the Kimberley following their induction in Broome. Source: The eRecord.

The week-long induction included a session at the Sisters of St John of God (SSJG) Heritage Centre for the new teachers, along with a Catholic Education Office WA (CEO) staff from Perth, to gain a better appreciation of the history of education in the Kimberley.

Heritage Centre coordinator Sr Pat Rhatigan said most of the teachers were new to the Kimberley, and had mostly come from across Australia, along with two directly from the United Kingdom.

She said the teachers were posted to 11 schools in the Kimberley - Kununurra, Ringer Soak/Yaruman near Halls Creek, Derby, the John Pugajangka-Piyirn school in the Mulan community, Balgo Hills, Billiluna, Wyndham, Lombadina, Red Hill, Warmun Community and Broome.

“The induction was an important first step for them in understanding the uniqueness of Kimberley schools, working in remote environments, and appreciating that they have support from other teachers with shared experiences across the region,” Sr Pat said.

“It also aimed to provide them with a sound knowledge of their school’s origin and the spirit that drove local people to ask for a school. We wanted to ensure the teachers knew that their schools, no matter how remote or small, were part of the bigger picture of education in Australia, and that what they do as teachers really does matter.”

CEO deputy executive director Peter Yensch, who was visiting the centre for the first time, said he found the visit highly motivating.

“(It) reminded us all of the role of Catholic missionaries and the history of Catholic education in this beautiful, but remote and challenging region.”

“The visit to the Broome Heritage Centre had a profound impact on my own knowledge and understanding of the humble, but heroic figures of the past in the Kimberley,” Mr Yensch said.

“I’m sure the new teachers, many who are recently graduated from university, were able to go to their new school communities with the enthusiasm to create their own bit of history.”


New teachers for the Kimberley region (The eRecord)

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