Our Schools


A nurturing environment for academic achievement

The formation of Gawura in 2007 occurred in response to the overwhelming evidence of underachievement and social disadvantage among people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. It represents our commitment to the national issue of reconciliation and to improving equality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

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A school within a school

Our unique initiative is a campus for boys and girls from Kindergarten to Year 6 who are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background. Demonstrating the sound application of national strategies that echo throughout Australian educational systems, the approach of Gawura education is to focus on high quality literacy and numeracy.

Celebrating Indigenous cultures

The pre-eminence of Indigenous cultures and the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identities in a nurturing environment provide the essential backdrop against which this academic achievement can take place. From cultural lessons incorporating Dreamtime stories, to learning the Wiradjuri language, Gawura exemplifies an engaging cultural and educational experience for our students.

Successful outcomes

The remarkable evidence of progress made by Gawura students suggests that this educational model contributes to positive educational outcomes for urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The steady and systematic approach to literacy and numeracy acquisition strategies, coupled with high levels of parent and community involvement provide a strong partnership that meets many of the National Goals for Indigenous Education.

An integral part of the community

Gawura (‘the whale’) is a totem of the people of the Eora nation and, for our Indigenous community it represents strength, courage and endurance. Students of Gawura become an integral part of a vital community of lifelong learners, of proud Indigenous people with the educational ability to change the history of their people. With corporate professionals from local CBD businesses like the Sydney Stock Exchange making regular visits to read with our Gawura students, they are very much a part not only of the St Andrew’s community, but of the broader local community as well.

To support our unique program of urban Indigenous education, donate here.

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