Koorie Education


“Berwick College creates a learning environment that respects, acknowledges and celebrates Indigenous culture through pedagogy and  practice.”

The Koorie Education program at Berwick College aims to provide quality and meaningful educational outcomes to young Koorie people while increasing the cultural awareness of our non-indigenous staff and students. We work in partnership with the Koorie community to develop an understanding of Koorie culture, and support the development of high expectations and individualised learning for Koorie students. Berwick College is committed to creating an environment that respects, recognises and celebrates cultural identity, and implementing initiatives that meet student needs in partnership with the Koorie community.

‘Berwick College acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Bunurong and Wurundjeri People and pays respect to all elders past, present and emerging.’

Please click here for the Berwick College’s Reconciliation Action Plan June 2020-June 2021

Our Principal notes, “Our Koorie students are publicly proud and active in their Koorie heritage and their community. To see these young people standing on the MCG, proudly reading the Acknowledgement of Country and singing the National Anthem at our assemblies demonstrates how this program has improved their sense of belonging. They have grown as people, as students, they stand straighter, with their faces raised. Families have gratefully acknowledged the experiences and opportunities these young people have had, and how it has changed their lives. The artwork and the Learning Stone at Berwick College are a visible demonstration of the pride in our connections to Koorie culture. A highlight for all our Year 7 students and myself each year is when Aunty Marg shares her childhood experiences, powerfully and positively educating our school community. I have seen young people hide their Koorie heritage in the past, but not here, not at Berwick College, not today.”

Aboriginal dates of significance:

  • 26 January: Survival Day / Australia Day
  • 13 February: Anniversary of the National Apology
  • 20 March: National Close the Gap Day
  • 26 May: National Sorry Day
  • 27 May – 3 June: National Reconciliation Week
  • 3 June: Mabo Day
  • 1st Sunday in July until the following Sunday: NAIDOC week
  • 4 August: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
  • 9 August: International Day of World’s Indigenous People
  • 10 December: Human Rights Day

The Learning Stone

The Learning Stone and indigenous garden with Bunjil Nest is located in the centre of the College and was jointly funded by the College and Bank First’s Teaching Initiative Program. A space for quiet reflection and collaboration between school and community groups to build stronger ties and greater awareness of local indigenous culture.

Berwick College offers an annual community service camp to Central Australia in conjunction with Remote Tours. The student leadership camp to Alice Springs and Uluru will include three days working with a local community on a project at Lilla Station. We are excited by the opportunity to better develop a sense of team whilst helping the students to understand some of the challenges facing young, indigenous people in remote Australia.

Koorie Engagement Support Officer (KESO) – Peter Dye

Peter Dye is Berwick College’s KESO. He has met with all our Indigenous students and is keen to provide ongoing support to students and families. He can be contacted by email at: Peter.Dye@education.vic.gov.au

Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leadership Program

The Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leadership (REAL) Program is specifically designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged
14 – 17 years. The program engages youth at Year 9 level, and works with the participants across a number of years to develop their leadership skills. For further information: REAL Programs