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Tiwi College

'It is time for us Tiwi to take control of our future through education. We will make mistakes, but for the first time in our history, they will be our mistakes. We will learn from them and build a better future for our people’
Pirrawayingi Puruntatameri

The Tiwi College is located at Pickataramoor in the southern part of Melville Island, about 60 kilometres away from the closest community. The College is owned and operated by the Tiwi people through the Tiwi Education Board, representing all Tiwi families and communities. The establishment of the College in 2008 was the fulfillment of a long-term dream for the Tiwi people. It was the result of a difficult and, at times, highly political battle. In May 2010, the College was officially opened by former Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce.

The Tiwi College caters for more than 80 Primary, Middle and Senior students and features ‘24-hour education’ combining classroom learning with sport, life skills, outdoor education and contributions to the running of the College. Students board during the week in Family Group Homes, which provide a supportive and caring environment for young people to focus on their studies. Attendance is around 80 per cent, which is higher than any remote, indigenous secondary school in the country.

 The curriculum prepares students with the skills and knowledge they need to participate fully in the future of the Tiwi Islands. Close partnerships with training providers and island industries offer students clear pathways to careers and a secure future.

The Elders of the Tiwi Land Council chose Pickataramoor as the site of the Tiwi College due to its central location relative to the three main communities on the islands. The Tiwi Land Council also has its headquarters at Pickataramoor where meetings are held "overlooking the future of the Tiwi” – the College.


‘This secondary school will certainly give my people the opportunity to equal other people in this country’
Cyril Kalippa


The Hayden Reynolds Tiwi College Project

‘The Hayden Reynolds Tiwi garden project demonstrates that an inspired vision can become a reality with hard work and the goodwill of others. The fruits of that labour are now being realised and tangible rewards are flowing to the Tiwi children and community in general. It is an inspiring, practical and demonstratively successful project that deserves generous support.’

The Hayden Reynolds Tiwi College Project, established by Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden AM and Macquarie Bank Executive Director, Guy Reynolds AO in 2010, aims to improve the general health and well-being of Tiwi youth. The Garden Project at the College provides students with fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and poultry, as well as career alternatives with courses based around the garden and its activities.