Yirrkala CEC celebrates! 


As the sun goes down on Nhulunbuy, Yirrkala Community Education Centre (CEC) has a lot to celebrate.

On March 22 the Centre was decorated with brightly coloured banners culturally significant to the different Yolngu Clans, languages and places in the area, and surrounded by beautiful plant cuttings in preparation for a ceremony honouring Yirrkala CEC’s seven Indigenous year 12 graduates.

In front of large gathering of family, friends and invited representatives from the Department of Employment, Education and Training, Northern Land Council and Charles Darwin University (CDU), the opening ceremony began with Bunggul by Djapu and Datiwuy clans, and included speeches from Langgani (Elder and Leader of Rirratjinggu Clan), the principal, Nalwarri Ngurruwutthun and other prominent guests.

Yolngu music, song and dance greeted each graduating student as they were led up to the stage and presented with their certificate. After the presentations the crowd was treated to a cooked lunch and performance by the Yirrkala secondary school band.

CDU’s Indigenous academic support lecturer Cynthia Coyne and SchoolsLink liaison Trisha Kohlweg from Casuarina Campus joined Nhulunbuy Campus VET lecturer Karen Cole for the celebrations.

Cynthia said, ‘I was especially pleased to see the graduating students again. I first met them in August last year and really wanted to congratulate them personally for all their hard work.’

Cynthia presented the students with a letter of congratulations from Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik, Dean of Indigenous Research and Education at CDU, and a $30 gift voucher for the CDU Bookshop.