Boarding school for Indigenous students twelve years and older from remote communities


History of the School

Yirara College was established in September 1973 as a government secondary residential College specifically for traditionally-oriented Aboriginal students from remote communities in the Central Australian region. The main objective of the College was to provide Aboriginal youth with educational programs that advanced academic and life skills, and widened socio-cultural understanding and outlook to allow successful integration into mainstream Australian society.
In 1991 the Northern Territory government decided to pursue a privatisation option for Yirara similar to that pursued and enacted for Kormilda College in Darwin in 1988. Expressions of interests were sought from various organisations. A majority of Aboriginal people living in the feeder communities in Central Australia expressed strong support for Yirara College becoming a Christian college. They also expressed significant support for the proposal that the College be operated under the management of the Finke River Mission (FRM).
Later in 1991, negotiations began between FRM, Central Australian Aboriginal parent-family groups, the Northern Territory Government and the Federal Government with the aim to have FRM assuming control of the College under a suitable funding arrangement from the beginning of 1993. A compelling factor for FRM as it considered undertaking the operation of the College was that the change in status from government to non-government would allow a clearly expressed view of Aboriginal people to be given effect, namely, that Yirara be a Christian school where students learn about God. In the second half of 1992, FRM accepted the gift of the College from the NT government with the condition that Aboriginal people would be involved in its governance.
In 1993, Yirara College officially became a non-government provider of education. Its name was changed to Yirara College of the Finke River Mission Inc to reflect that it was now operating as a school under the auspices of the Lutheran Church of Australia. Since that time the College has continued to enjoy significant support from the Aboriginal families in Central Australia, and in more recent times, increasing support from communities in the Top End of the Northern Territory.

The College's name was changed to Yirara College of the Finke River Mission Inc. to reflect that it now operates under the auspices of the Lutheran Church of Australia.

To gain a better understanding of Lutheran Education, please visit their website.


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Yirara College Newsletter Term Two 2024

Yirara fellas record in CAAMA studios, Wellbeing is important and Reconciliation Day fun, YiraraTV!

In our last YiraraTV episode for term two, Yirara fellas recorded their songs in the CAAMA studios, Well-being is important for family and community, we...