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A City-Country Partnership Connects Remote NT Schools With Sydney’s Meriden School

The Yadha Muru Foundation (YMF), in collaboration with the Australian Government’s City-Country Partnerships Program, is fostering a unique connection between Ti Tree School, Neutral Junction School (both located in remote NT) and Meriden School in Sydney.

Ti Tree and Neutral Junction, both with high Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student populations (96% and 100%, respectively), will benefit from Meriden’s expertise and resources. This innovative partnership takes a unique “cluster approach,” recognising the strength of shared cultural ties amongst several schools, as well as venerating the languages of Warlpiri, Anmatjere and Kaytetye.

The partnership has a multi-pronged approach, focusing on improving attendance at the NT schools, providing professional development for teachers and fostering cultural understanding through immersive experiences.

To encourage consistent attendance at Ti Tree and Neutral Junction, the program features exciting incentives. Meriden students and staff will connect with their NT counterparts remotely through engaging activities, fostering a sense of community and shared learning. Students who meet attendance goals will be rewarded with a trip to Sydney and the Meriden campus, providing them with an experience of urban life and the opportunities this might present to them in their futures.

Professional development is a cornerstone of the partnership. NT teachers will gain invaluable insights by visiting Meriden and observing diverse teaching methods. In turn, specialist Meriden teachers will visit the NT communities, sharing their expertise in music, STEM, primary education and student support. This exchange of knowledge and best practices will equip teachers with the tools to create engaging and effective learning environments in their respective schools.

Meriden’s commitment to meaningful and genuine reconciliation will be enriched through this partnership. Students will gain firsthand experience of Aboriginal culture, history and knowledge, fostering a deeper appreciation and understanding. Teachers will have the opportunity to learn alongside colleagues from the remote schools, enriching their own practice and enabling them to embed Aboriginal perspectives more authentically in Meriden’s teaching programs. This cultural exchange will benefit the entire Meriden community, including staff, students, parents, alumnae and the local Strathfield community, contributing to a more inclusive and informed school environment.

This City-Country Partnership represents a significant step towards closing the educational gap and fostering cultural understanding. By combining resources, expertise and a commitment to shared success, the partnership paves the way for a brighter future for students in both remote NT communities and Sydney’s Meriden School.

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