School Principal

Job No: 128209
Location: East Arnhem Land

  • Rewarding leadership opportunity at a vibrant, independent community school!
  • Deliver innovative, challenging education programs centred around practical, culturally safe learning!
  • Highly attractive salary starting from $131,754 plus relocation assistance, annual flights & free, fully furnished accommodation!

About Mäpuru Yirralka College

Commencing in January 2018, Mäpuru Yirralka College was established to enable Mäpuru families, elders and custodians to direct the educational programs and schooling that takes place on Yolŋu land. With an average attendance of 35 students which may increase to 60 at times, the College has 2 multi-year level classrooms, split into Primary and Secondary. Each class is supported by a teaching team of 2 local Yolŋu Assistant Teachers and a qualified full-time teacher, as well as actively involving parents in their children's education.

Governed by Yirralka Education, which was formed by members of the local community and land custodians, the College implements a bi-cultural model of education that enables Yolŋu students to be deeply embedded within their own identity, rather than the traditional Western model of thinking that can leave children isolated and lost. With this local control, a focal component of the curriculum is driven by Mäpuru elders as they strive to maintain traditions and dignity at the same time as providing a solid foundation for their children, empowering them to participate confidently in the broader Western world. All students speak Djambarrpuyŋu as a first language and are learning to speak English as an additional language.

About the Role

Mäpuru Yirralka College is currently searching for a full-time School Principal to join their team in East Arnhem Land, NT, commencing in Term 1, 2021.

A unique role at an innovative, bi-cultural and bi-lingual college, you will be one of two principals at the college, working in collaboration with the Yolŋu Community Principal who, whilst not a formally qualified teacher, plays a strong community leadership role and is a key part of the school's overall management.

Reporting to Yirralka Education Board, you will be responsible for all aspects of school governance, management and operations, guiding the strategic direction of the College and implementing a rigorous education program that challenges both students and teachers to reach high expectations, with a focus on bilingual approaches to literacy and numeracy.

Managing the financial operations and resources at the College, you'll be liaising regularly with service providers, coordinating deliveries for mail and groceries, as well as ensuring the upkeep of school buildings, vehicles and equipment and leading the design and construction of new buildings as the school grows.

You'll be facilitating a practical approach to classroom learning, integrating 'real world' applications where possible - students currently run one of the two local shops, and previously worked on the design to upgrade the town's airstrip as part of their maths class. Continuing the College's focus on community participation and ownership, you'll foster an environment where everyone is keen to pitch in, encouraging students to help with general maintenance and groundskeeping at the College and in the community.

For the full position description, please click here.

Are you the right fit?

To be considered for this position you will hold, or be eligible for, registration with the Teacher Registration Board of the Northern Territory. A confident leader, you will ideally have experience at the School Principal level, however Assistant Principals or Senior Teachers with demonstrable management skills will be considered.

Experience living or working in a remote area is not essential, provided you are resilient and capable of coping with the challenges of an undeniably isolated location; able to create social connections and develop relationships with students and families as you become part of the broader Mäpuru community.

An experienced educator, you won't be afraid to step in and teach classes where necessary, if a teacher is away or just needs an extra set of hands. A background in EAL/D, literacy, primary or bilingual education, or any experience with Aboriginal or culturally diverse learners, would be highly regarded.

It's crucial that you have a genuine respect for Aboriginal cultures and are able and willing to learn from Aboriginal teachers and elders, open to being mentored and able to take direction as required. You'll also be comfortable providing professional development to College staff, with a proven ability to lead by example and identify areas for improvement, in the field of bilingual and EAL/D education.

Combining strong cross-cultural communication and negotiation skills with an open-minded, community-focused approach, you'll be able to juggle the needs of multiple stakeholders and work with a strong network of community members, other principals, and government agencies to achieve the College's goals.

Finally, you will be committed to facilitating the delivery of effective, innovative education programs that challenge your students to learn and achieve. You'll be passionate about education, not just schooling, ensuring children are growing the skills, knowledge and confidence to become effective members and future leaders of their community.

Please note: Before commencing you must possess a current Working With Children (OCHRE) card, a current National Police Clearance, and a current, unrestricted Australian Manual Driver's Licence. Your own car would be an advantage, with school vehicles to be used exclusively for school business and not private use.

A Rewarding Opportunity

This is an incredible opportunity to take on a new challenge at an innovative independent college, making a real difference to the lives and future opportunities of students in a remote and welcoming community.

In return for your hard work and dedication, you will be rewarded with a highly attractive salary starting from $131,754+ and negotiable upwards based on your skills and experience.

Relocation assistance is on offer, negotiable depending on your needs, in addition to a Remote Area Allowance and free, fully furnished, 2 bedroom accommodation with all utilities, including phone, internet, and electricity provided. A peaceful community, where residents can live a simple, sustainable lifestyle, the town is wholly solar powered and close to excellent fishing and hunting spots. 

You'll be able to take advantage of four return flights to Darwin each year, and Yirralka Education will additionally match current remote incentives or study leave entitlements for candidates employed by the NT Government.

This is your chance to take on a key leadership position and support the students of a local community that's truly passionate about education - Apply Now!


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Life in Mäpuru

Approximately 14 hours drive from Darwin, Mäpuru is a tiny town in East Arnhem Land, also known as Yolŋu Land. With a population of 100, half of whom are children, the school is a central part of the community, enabling education, community development, social justice, reconciliation and dignity restoration across the entire town.

The Mäpuru community hosts cultural workshops several times a year for groups of visitors who are keen to experience Yolngu life and culture. These Arnhem Weavers and Men’s Business workshops are local initiatives run in association with the College, providing valuable lessons and encouragement to young Yolŋu students by showing that Yolŋu ways of life, practices, and languages are sought after and respected by outsiders.

The local store is run co-operatively by the community, providing non-perishable foods to supplement fortnightly orders of fresh fruit and vegetables that arrive via charter flight. The secondary school students also run a shop, Mäpuru Market, which sells other basics and essentials for fishing, hunting and cooking.

For more information about living and working in Mäpuru, please click here.

Yirralka Education