WA Premier's Excellence in Aboriginal Education Award 2019

Asset Publisher

‘Mabu Liyan’

Cable Beach Primary School
WA Premier’s Excellence in Aboriginal Education Award 2019

Located in one of the State’s most idyllic and iconic settings, Cable Beach Primary School is a school connected to the community and country, embodying the Yawuru philosophy of ‘mabu liyan’ – good feeling, strong spirit and positive wellbeing.

This is a school where the moment you walk in, you feel welcome. A school where you can see students are supported to be the best they can be. You can see it on the smiling faces of the children as they are greeted by their teachers, in children’s work hanging from the walls of every classroom, and in the trusted waves of goodbye from parents as they drop off their children.

While acknowledging the challenges the community faces, there is a strong sense of family, culture and community at Cable Beach Primary School. It is a place that parents have described as ‘the best school in the Kimberley’, which is something Principal Paul Neates says the school has actively worked towards.

“Every single thing we do, by looking through the Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework as a lens, strives to build relationships with our local Aboriginal community,” Paul says.

“Consistently year in year out, we do an outstanding job. This was recognised when selected as a finalist in 2018. It is a lot of work and effort to get a school up and running at the highest level, but to sustain through explicit improvement plans and succession planning is truly exceptional.”

With a 70% Aboriginal student population, the leadership team at the school have developed an inclusive, culturally responsive curriculum that reflects the needs of all students. With a culture of high expectations for all students, staff continually strive to improve teaching and learning through a range whole-school targeted strategies with a focus on explicit instruction.

Passionate, committed and engaged, staff believe that the success of Aboriginal students is everyone’s responsibility. The school involves parents and families and the Aboriginal community in the development of the school vision, ethos and whole-school approaches.

One significant program at the school is the Yawuru language program. Now in its 22nd year, the program has been instrumental in defining the culture at Cable Beach Primary School. All teachers and students attend weekly lessons held by a trained Yawuru language teacher and it has helped to form strong links in the community.

Paul says the Aboriginal staff at the school play a major part in the school’s success and their knowledge and leadership has been invaluable. Working as a cohesive team, they own the outcomes, lead initiatives and inform the teaching and learning in all classrooms.

The cluster of five schools in Broome has also benefitted from Cable Beach Primary School’s ways of working, and more importantly their Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers, who have developed and delivered professional learning for effective teaching of Aboriginal students within the community.

Other programs such as Mirandu Nyirrwa, a school readiness program for Aboriginal zero to three-year olds, and Little Brother Boys, an engagement program for upper primary male students, reinforce using Aboriginal staff as role models for students.

In conjunction with a strong focus on literacy and numeracy, the school is also looking for opportunities to extend students through hosting Primary Extension and Challenge (PEAC) and running specialist classes in STEM.

With an unwavering focus on high care for all students, Paul says Cable Beach Primary School is a culturally responsive school that respects and values diversity.

“We want students to graduate with a strong sense of identity and self-worth through the promotion of the school values: Respect, Resilience, Be your Best, and Be Safe.”

WA Premier’s Excellence in Aboriginal Education Award 2019

This award recognises schools that work actively to improve education outcomes for Aboriginal students. With strong leadership, all staff work together and pursue innovations to create positive school experiences where every student reaches their potential.

Proudly sponsored by BHP.

  • Cable Beach Primary School
  • Baynton West Primary School
  • Wananami Remote Community School
  • Yule Brook College