Tjuntjuntjara Remote Community School (5814)

School Overview

Tjuntjuntjara Remote Community School is located in the Tjuntjuntjara Community, home of the Spinifex people. The Tjuntjuntjara Community is in the Great Victoria Desert close to the border with South Australia, north of the Nullarbor Plain and 630 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie. It is considered to be one of the most remote communities in Australia. The community was established in 1988 when people moved from Coonana to Tjuntjuntjara to follow a traditional lifestyle and maintain cultural identity & values.

A school was independently established by the community and run in a shed until 1988 when it was annexed to Yintarri RCS in Coonana by the Department of Education. At the beginning of 2008 Tjuntjuntjara RCS officially became a new school. The school works hard to foster an environment where we show leadership in supporting the community's goal of improving relevant and meaningful educational outcomes for the children of Tjuntjuntjara.

Currently Tjuntjuntjara has a population of approximately 160 - 200 residents, however this can swell or decline depending on Western Desert cultural cycles. It is an alcohol-free community where substance abuse and petrol sniffing is rare and there is little need for policing in the community. It is generally a quiet place where people feel safe. The main language spoken in Tjuntjuntjara is Pitjantjatjara followed by English.

OUR VISION is to be recognized as a centre of educational excellence, playing a key role in closing the gap in Indigenous life outcomes and working in partnership with the local community to support and maintain local knowledge and culture.

Maintaining traditional culture whilst preparing their children for a rapidly changing world is a key community priority and we work closely with the Tjuntjuntjara community to address this. We offer a broad curriculum with a strong focus on learning English as a second language through the use of Aboriginal Literacy Strategies. Our students are a delight to teach as they are characterised by a passionate desire to learn, a love of books, enthusiasm, generosity, cultural pride and a sense of community.

We experience strong community support and involvement, with elders acting as valued role models and mentors for our students. We value and celebrate the work of the artists of the Spinifex Arts Project, which was established in 1997 as part of the Native Title documentation process, when their paintings were used to document the entire Spinifex area showing claimants birthplaces and important stories that traverse and give form to the area. These paintings were formally included in the preamble to the Native Title agreement ratified before the Federal Court in November 2000. Our music program is enhanced by the involvement of community members who have joined our students to form Tjuntjuntjara Band using modern acoustic equipment. We run after school activities and sport with the support of the local community and have recently commenced a Bush Rangers Cadets program.

Tjuntjuntjara RCS is an important and integral part of the Tjuntjuntjara Community in the Spinifex Lands. We are committed to providing a safe, inclusive learning environment because we believe that these are essential ingredients in achieving the best possible outcomes for all of our students. We are looked upon as being a friendly and caring community centred school that encourages excellence and strong values from its students. We are proud to be held in high regard by the Tjuntjuntjara community.