"...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.
In April 2013 Dhimurru and the Yirrkala School began the ‘’Learning on Country” program.
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.
The Learning on Country 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.
Download the Learning on Country information brochure here