A range of new possibilities has opened up for students of Green Point Christian College (GPCC), with the school taking ownership of a multi-use property in north-west NSW.
The GPCC Board has taken ownership of Currawah Aboriginal Education Centre at Gongolgon, established by the Seventh Day Adventist Church and operated as a boarding school before closing in 2018.
“This project has evolved out of a long-term connection in the area through annual Year 9 mission trips in partnership with Australian Indigenous Ministries,” a GPCC spokesperson said.
“The property will provide a range of exciting opportunities for our students.
“This year GPCC launched an Aboriginal Studies course for Year 11 and 12 students and continues to plan on sending increased numbers of Year 9 students for an experience in Brewarrina and surrounds.
“Year 9 will have a focus on Aboriginal issues in the social science program, with activities around understanding Aboriginal culture, language, history and social issues.
“Our librarian, Nicole van Wyk, has also established an ATSI (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Committee to promote and develop a greater focus on ATSI issues and events including connecting with local Aboriginal people and groups on the Central Coast.
“There is significant scope on the site to host students for outdoor education activities, spiritual retreats, other subject fieldtrips including Geography, Business Studies, and History, and for student exchanges between the future school and GPCC.”
GPCC Principal, Phillip Nash, outlined the benefits of the initiative.
“Enabling our students to experience something of life and the issues of remote western NSW is a great way to help them broaden their horizons and develop a greater understanding of the diversity and complexity of this great country,” he said.
“For teenagers who are working out their life’s vocation, having experiences outside of their current comfort zone is important in giving them a bigger vista of opportunities for their future.
“Although Brewarrina is a day’s travel from Green Point, this very distance makes doing student activities there quite attractive.
“It takes students from the very comfortable upper middle class Central Coast and engages them with remote, rural Australia, giving them first-hand experience and understanding of the diversity of our nation and their responsibility to be cognisant of the people and issues in parts of the country very different to their own.”
The GPCC Board will also consider plans including the potential to lease a portion of the site to establish a small school for the local area.
Media release, Sep 16
Green Point Christian College