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Rural and Remote Education - WA


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

are gone."

"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

"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."

Traditional culture

"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.