Daniel Yore trained as a doctor before transitioning to teaching in order to address social injustice more directly.

At Yirrkala School, a bilingual school in North East Arnhem Land, senior secondary teacher Daniel Yore is now demonstrating – spectacularly – how education can change life trajectories.

Twenty Yirrkala students are on track to graduate Year 12 across 2020 – 2021– more than the annual average for all remote schools in the Northern Territory combined – thanks to a “both ways” curriculum, integrating mainstream subjects with traditional knowledge, language and cultural practices of the Yolngu people.

The key, Daniel Yore said, is respect. He has worked since 2017 with local Elders and community organisations to develop the program, which supports English learning for students whose first language is Yolngu, develops mathematical awareness through studying the natural environment, and extends conceptual skills by relating western thinking to local kinship systems and spatial aspects of Country.

The process had shown, “that the school and the senior secondary program deeply value Yolngu knowledge systems by clearly incorporating complex traditional educational processes as a central core to the successful completion of Year 12 studies.”

Four of the graduating students are applying to university – including one to study medicine.