and Remote Education - WA
Billiluna community meeting,
14 May 1999
"We are having problems
because our kids are going to Perth but they come back to nothing. There
are no jobs for them here in the office. We send them away to Perth and
they still can't get a job. I would like to see these kids stay in the
community, be educated in the community and work in the community. I want
these kids to talk up strong and fight for this land so that they can
run this community for themselves."
"A lot of people
fight with the Kartiya because we have no black fellas in the office here
only Kartiya. Who is going to look after our mob when all the old people
"All the girls got
jobs but the boys haven't got anything. The boys just sit around and drink
every weekend. There is only one Aboriginal man working in the school."
"We need to teach
them how to fix fences. We need to train in fencing but you can't learn
that with CDEP. There is nobody to train for fencing. We need to learn
riding horses and branding cattle."
"We've got land here
and we've got houses that need fixing. Once you wake them up you can get
them started. They can do it. But there they don't want to work. They
have got to think about their future too. The young people they learn
how to kick football but they never learn anything."
"We don't need the
white fellas to teach us how to run the office. We can do it ourselves."
"The kids go to Perth
for high school. There is no high school here. The kids stop back here
for sport. Only some kids go to school in Perth."
"We want our kids
to learn book-keeping so that they can work in the office."
"When they come back
from Perth they want to come back because they are worried about the mother
and father here. But the kids need to be here to learn how to cut that
boomerang or to drag that goanna. That's what our kids have to learn,
not the guddiyah way. They have to learn both ways. The guddiyah talk
and talk and talk. They need to learn their own ways too. They have to
learn guddiyah life and both lives."
"Our kids go to Broome
to College and they never learn anything."
"It is hard for Aboriginal
people to go to school away from home. The kids get homesick and I know
everybody gets homesick even non-indigenous people, but you have got to
understand that these kids have a connection to their land too, and it
is hard to leave their land and their people."
"When they do get
that training and they do come back, there are not enough jobs for them
to work in the community. Non-indigenous people are taking over. We employ
them to work here but they should be training Aboriginal people to work
here. Maybe one day we could run this place ourselves. It's like the office,
they don't train our people there, they do the jobs themselves. We could
do the book-keeping. When they have the young girls in there they don't
let them do the book keeping because they don't trust them. Then why should
we trust them to come here and work for us."
"That's why the young
people learn nothing because all they do is pick up rubbish for CDEP [Community
Development Employment Program]. Next week they should lean something
new, like something about trees or other things, but all they do is pick
up rubbish and young people are getting sick of that. This office does
not offer many jobs because the guddiyah want the jobs themselves."
"One school always
comes up and that is Clontarf. We have no other choices. That is the school
that we talk about, but maybe we should think of other schools. Our kids
only go to Perth, they don't go to Kununurra or to Broome."
"The last school
that I finished up at was the Noarlunga College but that is a boy college
not a girl college."
"The school is good
here. The kids learn culture, and we talk to them everyday and every week,
but there is no money to pay the old people to come into the school and
teach the children or take them away to the bush."
"The kids learn school
work at school. But my father taught me how to make the boomerang, and
that made me proud."
"There needs to be
funding for training and I heard that they are going to cut off funding
for training. If you are under 18 there is no money for training. There
is trouble with Abstudy. They don't let under 18 do the training. When
they leave school there is nowhere for them to go and they can't do their
"I did my primary
schooling at Fitzroy Crossing because there was trouble with my parents.
Then we had problems because my family kept shifting around to find out
which community was the best. That meant I didn't get enough school education.
Half the kids here don't go to school."
"We would like to
see something like the Adams Centre for everybody. We want it for everybody
not just for school people. We could use that for training for everybody."
"There are too many
people here already and that is why the people can't find a job. We need
training for building houses. We need to train young people to be mechanics
too. The Kartiya should be training for mechanics in the school."
"We want to improve
the training for the young fellas. We want them to do welding. They need
to know how to build windows and doors. We need equipment too."
"They should start
straight away and get stuck into it. They need to train for the skills
we need. The school should start right now."
"School is the Kartiya
way but we have another way. The young kids need to listen to old people
like me and old people like you."
"Here we are at a
meeting and you only see old people. Where are the young people? They
should be at this meeting.
updated 2 December 2001.