College News & Events

City-Country Partnerships in Broome and Beagle Bay

March 22, 2024

Chisholm Catholic College is excited to have been chosen to be a host city school involved in two City-Country Partnerships with St Mary’s College in Broome and Sacred Heart School in Beagle Bay. As mentioned to community last year, this important work with these schools is a collaboration as part of the federally funded City Country Partnership Programme from the Yadha Muru Foundation.

The College is making great progress in collaborating with these schools and is enthusiastic about the cultural connections and learnings it will provide for all staff and students. Following an initial visit from the College Principal and Mr O’Mara and work to plan out things over the next two years, further progress has seen the project ramping up in 2024. 

This week, our HoLA Science, Mr Paul Shanahan; Science Teacher, Miss Lilia Kalache and I travelled to Broome and Beagle Bay to engage in further face-to-face work in these two partnerships.

On Day One, at St Mary’s in Broome, Chisholm staff had the opportunity to sit and yarn with Cultural Pillar, Michelle Hamaguchi; Aboriginal Teaching Assistant, Carlene Smith and Director of Learning Support, Natalie Giancono. This cultural immersion was invaluable in gaining insights and understanding about both the Broome setting and how to approach and welcome Aboriginal students and families into our Chisholm setting. Mr Shanahan and Miss Kalache also spent the day with students from the St Mary’s STRIVE programme facilitating a Project-Based Learning activity. The two Colleges are working together to produce a project for CEWA’s upcoming STEM showcase which will be hosted at Chisholm on 7 August. We look forward to welcoming 16 students and staff from St Mary’s College for this showcase.

Principal of St Mary’s, Coby Ratighan and I also travelled north to Beagle Bay to evaluate further the work around refurbishing and reinstating their trade Training Centre in preparation for future visits. Sacred Heart School in Beagle Bay stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Catholic Church’s missionary efforts among Indigenous communities in Australia. The school serves as a focal point for the local community, nurturing cultural identity and promoting educational excellence. The visit, albeit fleeting, was an invaluable opportunity to visit this community and begin to forge relationships with its members and confirm the project work ahead.

Day Two was Harmony Day and we were fully immersed in Broome’s rich history and culture with visits to Gantheaume Point, The St John of God Sisters Heritage Centre and the Bart Pigram Mangrove Walking Tour. It was a great privilege to walk and hear stories on Yawuru Country and glean so much insight into the history of the two schools we are involved in this partnership with.

The secondary campus also hosted us for their Harmony Day lunch which was an incredible celebration of the very multicultural community that is Broome. Cultural Pillar, Michelle, welcomed us in front of staff and told staff they are “so excited to build a strong and powerful partnership with Chisholm College” which was incredibly humbling.

We give thanks to all staff involved but special thanks goes to the Director of Academic Extension and Innovation at St Mary’s College, Zoe Court for her coordination and leadership of the visit. Together with the Principal, Coby Ratigan, they have fostered a great sense of team and community around this growing relationship.

Mrs Belinda Pietropaolo
Deputy Principal – Administration 

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