Looma Remote Community School (5671)

School Overview

Looma Remote Community School is located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia approximately 130 km south east of Derby, some 30 km (dirt road) south of the main Derby to Fitzroy Crossing Highway. The school services the Looma Aboriginal Community (390-410 people) and the town of Camballin (30-40 people) approximately fifteen minutes from the school. Looma Community is built at the base of the picturesque Grant Range and the school enjoys magnificent vistas of the surrounding hills and rock formations that give Looma its name.

Looma Community is relatively young, having been established in the 1970's but in a short period of time, it has developed steadily. The population comprises of three major groups; Walmajarri, Nyikina and Mangala, with a smattering of others.

The name 'Looma' is Walmajarri for 'blue tongue lizard' and the lizard is the school and community logo. A traditional legend traces the history of a 'Looma' which travelled from Christmas Creek with its children to escape a big flood.

The Looma Community by choice is dry (no alcohol). There are three to four religious groups which at times interact with the school directly. Some traditional law practices do take place but with minimal effect on the school.

Looma Remote Community School originally started in 1982 as an annex of Camballin Special Aboriginal School. Camballin School officially closed at the end of 1983 when all Aboriginal students were relocated. Looma Remote Community School was officially opened on November 14, 1986. In 1998 the school became a District High School. As of 2003, Looma has been reclassified as a Remote Community School. The school has many resources which include; Administration Block and Library, Home Economics Room, Design and technology Centre, Art Room, Post Compulsory Room, Pre-Primary and Primary Classrooms, LOTE Room, Primary and Secondary Photocopy Rooms and Primary and Secondary Resource Rooms. Two DET Personnel Carriers and a bus are available for staff to take students on Department of Education and Training approved excursions.

School staff look for ways to overcome the geographic isolation of the community and provide a range of learning opportunities for students. Aboriginal English and Kriol are spoken by the majority of students. ESL teaching strategies are important for students to learn Standard Australian English.

The School strives for excellent parent-teacher-community support through an open door communication policy, active partnership with the community based Looma Education Committee that maintains vital links between the school and community by providing an open forum for school decision making and a 'Memorandum of Understanding' which is a shared responsibility agreement that addresses key issues within the community and school.

Teaching personnel at Looma RCS are accommodated in Camballin, which is a small township approximately 110 km south east of Derby and 15 km from Looma RCS. The population varies and it compromises teachers, health, Looma Community support staff and Liveringa Pastoral Company employees.

Looma and Camballin have a typical tropical climate. Temperatures are generally in the high 30's and 40's during the early and late months of the year. The 'dry' season offers near perfect weather. The 'wet' season is worth experiencing with excessive heat, humidity and rainfall, though it can restrict movement. Tropical thunderstorms prevail at this time of the year.