The Parnngurr Community consists of around 150 Western Desert people whose ancestors have been here since the beginning of the Dreaming, and who have since returned to their traditional land.
The community is built in the shadow of twin hills with particular significance to the people and sits at the southern end of the Karlamilyi (Rudall River) National Park, 380 km’s north, north-east of Newman on a maintained unsealed road.
Our independent school was established in 1989, and at the end of 1992 community members moved into permanent housing with power and water facilities. The community is firm in its commitment to maintaining traditional values in an alcohol-free environment for their children.
Parnngurr Community receives mail twice a week by charter plane. Facilities in the community include a small store, 24-hour medical clinic, community office and oval. Telephone, fax and internet services are available.
Photo: Jimmy (Gun) Williams – Martu Elder of the Parnngurr Community. His vision resulted in the formation of the Parnngurr Community School in 1989 – a place of two-way learning.
Parnngurr Community School aims to develop strong young Martu men and women by ensuring they attain educational outcomes that will provide them with a wide range of life opportunities while valuing their Indigenous culture.
It is part of the ethos and strength of independent, community-controlled schools that they enjoy and maintain an excellent relationship with the community. It is school policy to support the cultural life and aspirations of the community.
The school council sometimes call upon both physical and human resources available at their school. At their request, the school has assisted in various community activities, such as funerals, sporting activities, hunting and other bush trips, and emergency rescues. The Principal also assists less literate community members who need to use the telephone.
Because of this collaborative relationship, Parnngurr Community School is well regarded and supported by the community. All school staff are encouraged to participate in appropriate community activities.
Welcome to the Parnngurr Community School.
Parnngurr is a remote Australian Indigenous Community located on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. It is the tribal home of the Martu people whose ancestors have been here since the beginning of the Dream Time.
The Martu were some of the last of Australia’s Indigenous people to make contact with European Australians with many migrating from their desert lands into neighbouring pastoral stations and missions in the 1950s and 1960s.
The old people of the Martu have first-hand experience of traditional life and have extensive traditional ecological knowledge of their country. This provides an important and time limited opportunity to preserve and transfer this knowledge before they pass away.
The community is proud of their school and everyone who is associated with the school is proud to be part of this very special community.
Dr Prem Mudhan
The Director’s Vision
We are the Directors and owners of Parnngurr Community School Aboriginal Corporation. We believe in the power of our Martu people’s self-reliance, ownership of the school and independent action to shape our own social and educational destinies.
The Parnngurr Community School Aboriginal Corporation (School Council) is the legal entity that is funded by government to run the school. The Corporation is incorporated under CATSI and operates with the CATSI legislation. The regulator is ORIC and the Corporation is strictly accountable under the ACT. The Corporations accounts and rule are publicly disclosed by being posted on the ORIC site in accordance with CATSI requirements.
“The key to engaging students is the two-way learning system that has been embedded into an independent teaching program“