Coolbinia Primary School wins Cook award

Students Eva Markey and Rohnan Kilfunis monitor plants after a fire swept through bushland near the school.  Picture: Andrew Ritchie       
Students Eva Markey and Rohnan Kilfunis monitor plants after a fire swept through bushland near the school. Picture: Andrew Ritchie       

COOLBINIA Primary School’s innovative Partnership, Acceptance, Learning and Sharing (PALS) project has won an award for its success in educating students on Aboriginal culture.

The school was the overall winner of the Troy Cook Award for its PALS project.

Cross curriculum coach Elaine Lewis said the school’s program had been running for about three years, during which time she had noticed a significant improvement in the students’ knowledge and appreciation of Aboriginal culture.

“We have been working really hard on the program,” Dr Lewis said.

“We have a reconciliation action plan and a vision of building reconciliation in our community.”

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier said the success in Coolbinia’s program came from its whole school approach, with all 429 students enrolled at the school participating.

“The program allows non-Aboriginal students to learn more about Aboriginal culture in an engaging way, and creates an opportunity for our Aboriginal students to be proud of their culture and history,” he said.

“The project focused on learning about boodja (country) through stewardship of their local bushland, and included inviting Aboriginal educators to the school and publishing a book on their learning and experiences.”

The book Heart of Coolbinia: Our Bush Trail is available for sale.