St Joseph's School, Kununurra
In 1967, St Joseph's School (staffed by Sisters of St Joseph)
was set up to cater for the developing township and students from
the outlying cattle stations. After the 1967 referendum and the
dramatic change in government policy, the growth of the school
ran parallel to the thrust for self-determination by Aboriginal
In 1973, St Martin's Hostel was established for station children.
The children were accommodated in caravans on the school property.
Primary aged students were able to return to Beagle Bay and Lombadina
to attend school in their own area. With the assistance of a government
grant, the hostel moved to a new site. The Sisters of St Joseph
continued their involvement in the school until the first lay
principal was appointed in 1996.
Today, St Joseph's School is a multi-cultural school catering
for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. It has a student
enrolment of approximately 250 and a staff of 25. The curriculum
at St Joseph's provides appropriate learning opportunities using
English as a Second Language (ESL) and Standard Australian English.
This unique arrangement ensures that the specific language needs
of the various cultural groups within the town are being met.
The school's curriculum comes from the Curriculum Framework and
involves the nine Learning Areas of Religion, English, LOTE, Society
and Environment, Science, Maths, The Arts, Health and Physical
Education and Technology and Enterprise. St Joseph's is well resourced
with computers, internet access and plenty of other teacher resources.
St Joseph's is a well-resourced school with shady, attractive
grounds. Kununurra, with a population of approximately 6 000 people,
is located in the tropical and picturesque East Kimberley region
of Western Australia. It is a well-established, modern town with
much to offer those with sporting and outdoor interests. There
are many local attractions in the form of gorges, bush walking,
four-wheel driving, fishing and waterfalls that people can avail
themselves of in their spare time.