It has always been vitally important for students to maintain their local language and culture. There is a strong history of bilingual education on Elcho Island and at Gawa we strive to encourage the students to learn English, Warramiri and Djambarrpuyngu.  

The Mayawa class have ‘Yolngu Matha’ lessons to learn the specific letters of the alphabet and some of the specific Yolngu characters. They also sing songs and learn traditional phrases and prayers to practice their Yolngu Matha.
The senior Damala class take more of a textual approach and begin to read and study specific stories in the Warramiri language. Many of these stories have been recorded by Kathy Guthadjaka (Gotha) over the years and published for the students to read and learn. Both classes have begun to make their own stories and readers using Yolngu Matha and English to describe our daily lives and procedures.

One of the best aspects of Gawa Christian School is the involvement of other community members from the homelands. In this regard, we have had many excursions to significant local sites for hunting and stories. We have also had spear making sessions, various trips to the bush in search of seasonal fruits and times of gathering and forming various articles for art and crafts.

Overall, such a ‘two-way’ education is both the most enjoyable and beneficial system of learning and a true highlight of Gawa Christian School.




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