Walking the tightrope or constructing a bridge? A study into effective partnership practices between an interstate boarding school community and a very remote Aboriginal Community

  • Andrew Raymond Gerard Lloyd Chales Darwin University


Access to secondary education for very remote Northern Territory Indigenous students is limited. Although many students attend distant boarding schools, very few stay to complete Year 12 (the final year of secondary school in Australia). Few families and communities are fully engaged in the whole transition process. This paper describes a case study of one very remote Indigenous community and its partnership with an interstate boarding College. The partnership is attributed with students from community staying to complete Year 12 and then seeking local employment pathways afterward. The study on which this paper is based, investigated how the elements within this partnership function. Using a qualitative methodology with a phenomenological design, two adults from the remote Indigenous Community and six staff from a partner boarding College were interviewed. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, thematically coded and participants were deidentified. Limitations included small sample size not completely representative of the students, families, Elders and staff from either the community or the college.