"...The land will exist forever. It must be protected so that it will remain the same, so that it can be seen in the same way that the elders saw it in the past. Our vision and hope is that Yolngu will continue to use the land for all generations to come.” Roy Dadaynga Marika, 1990. Dhimurru Vision Statement.
The Yolngu children of north-east Arnhem Land are the future owners and managers of their land and sea. In time they will become the custodians of a rich tradition of songs, art and knowledge about their estates. Dhimurru has recognized that since its inception by providing regular opportunities for school children, especially Yolngu children, to visit and learn about their culture and environment with traditional owners including Dhimurru Rangers.
In April 2013 Dhimurru and the
Yirrkala School began the ‘’Learning on Country” program. The
program aims to improve attendance of Yolngu children at school, the readiness
of students to take up satisfying and rewarding careers, and prepare the next
generation of Yolngu land owners to care for their estates which are of
national and international significance.
Learning on Country is an exciting
extension of regular ranger presentations to Yolngu students at Yirrkala
School. Students literally “learn on country” at events planned and delivered
by senior Yolngu, rangers, vocational education trainers and school
teachers. Each event is followed up in regular classroom teaching
that uses aspects of the ‘country’ as resources for student development, learning
and academic achievement.
The use of Yolngu country and
traditions to inspire and guide Yolngu student learning to the same standard
expected by all Australians is known as “both-ways” education, an approach
championed by the former Yirrkala School Principal and educational scholar, the
late Dr M. Yunupingu.
The Learning on Country initiative is supported by the Australian Government’s Indigenous Ranger Cadetship Program and the Northern Territory Department of Education. Dr Jonathan Wearne was appointed as the Learning on Country Coordinator in April 2013.
Warning: This website may contain references to Yolngu people who have passed away. Every effort has been made to ensure that images portraying recently deceased Yolngu people have been removed.