Opening of Nawarddeken Academy, West Arnhem Land (Kabulwarnamyo, Mamadawerre and Manmoyi) schools

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Thank you very much for welcoming me to your country.

And thank you for sharing your wisdom with me today.

I have only been Minister of Education for three weeks, but I came here because I want to celebrate with you and because I want to learn from you.

I am very aware that I stand on a land that has been a place of learning and teaching for millennia, and today is just the next step in that story.

Today Margie told me about her story with Lois in the spring of 2014, when Lois told her about her father’s vision to build a school and his determination to make it a reality.

I suspect there were a few tears shed today remembering that moment and all that has been accomplished since.

I want to thank the traditional owners of this amazing land for your vision, for your hard work.

I would like to thank the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust for all your fundraising work with generous Australians across the country who have helped make the old man’s vision a reality here today.

These children who celebrate with us today are the true beneficiaries of this vision.

Living in two worlds is not easy, two worlds of Bininj and Balanda.

But what we’re seeing today, and what we’ll see in the classrooms in a few moments, is what this school is doing is making it a reality – “two-tool education”.

Where children learn the culture of their ancestors and an education gives them the opportunities of the world.

Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this special day.

Like Eva, may I thank Olga and the Nawarddeken Academy team for the work you do.

It is truly a privilege to share this moment with you today.

Thanks.

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