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 people.

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.