School History

Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School was established in 1996 in order to better serve the needs of Noongar children in the South West City of Bunbury. This establishment was a direct result of extensive community consultation and community support. The basis for the School was information regarding the poor performance of Aboriginal students in schooling and the low attendance, participation and retention rates of Aboriginal students.

The Noongar Community of Bunbury felt that an Early Childhood Centre (Kindergarten to Year 2) was needed to give Aboriginal students a sound start to their education with strong involvement by Aboriginal people.  This was extended to Year 3 in 1999 and, as a result of a Community Survey; a recommendation was ratified by the Department of Education & Training to add an extra year level every year until 2003 when Year 7 was reached.


1974 - Koala Aboriginal Pre-School was started with funds from the Department of Community Welfare. It was staffed with Franciscan Missionaries and the Pre-School Board.

1979 - Education Department of WA appointed and funded Koala staff.

1996 - Koala Pre-School closed down. Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School established at Xavier Street, equipment, some staff and students from Koala plus a new teacher (Asharie Bradshaw) and Principal (Lee Brady).

1997 - Year 1 enrolments accepted at Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School for the first time.

1998 - Djidi Djidi awarded DET Aboriginal Excellence Award for Outstanding School.

1999 - Year 3 children attend for the first time. A Community Survey commissioned by the District Office in 1999 indicated strong support amongst most Aboriginal people living in Bunbury region to extend the school to Year 7. The Survey indicated an exceedingly high level of support for the school and its programs amongst the Noongar Community. A parent survey showed high level of support for the school and a new school site.

2000 - Year 4 children attend. Report sent to Minister for Education regarding extending the school and a new school site.

2001 – Year 5 children attend. Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School has a three-year lease granted by the City of Bunbury for the school to stay at its current site. A Consultative Committee was set up by The City of Bunbury to find a permanent location for Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School. The community identified a site in the Picton/Glen Iris area for a permanent school site. The City of Bunbury council endorsed this in December.

2002 – An Implementation Committee was formed to commence the consultative process for the planning stage of the new school. This committee included staff, Board and Department of Education & Training (DET) members.

2003 – Djidi Djidi is now a K-7 school. The students, staff, Board, elders and family members worked with the architects (Edgar Idle Wade), DET and Housing and Works staff to design and build the new school.

2004 – On Friday March 5th Djidi Djidi students and staff enjoyed their first day in their new facilities. The official opening was held on Wednesday 7th July.

2005 – The school was praised and recognised for its Literacy & Numeracy results through visits from Paul Albert, Director General, and Robert Somerville, Director of Indigenous Participation and Achievement Standards Directorate.

2006 – On September 27th the school community celebrated its 10th Year Anniversary. Many special guests joined with the community in a special assembly and morning tea. The students provided entertainment with choir and dance performances. An Anniversary book was also published.

2007 – Gloria (Nora) Dann and Pat Clarke retired. Gloria was foundation staff member who previously worked at Koala Kindy and was on the Board that established Djidi Djidi. Gloria was a Noongar Language teacher. Pat worked in the Library and in classrooms. She was the key staff member involved in setting up the library at the new facilities in 2004.

2008 – Djidi Djidi enrolments pass 120 students. DET are investigating whether Djidi Djidi can become a Level 4 school.

2009 – Djidi Djidi was approved to become a Level 4 School, making way for the employment of inaugural Deputy Principal, Lorraine Tuia. After 9 Years as Principal at DjidiDjidi, Felicity Dear promoted from the School to Boulder Primary School.

2010 – New Principal appointed, Mr Justin Grasso. Student enrolments continue to increase.

2011 - 2015 - School continues to grow with a variety of initiatives that support students and families involving Health and Well Being, Social Emotional Development, Behaviour, Attendance and Engagement, and Academia. The school has seen a significant 'closing the gap' in Literacy since 2013 which has flowed across other learning areas such as Science and Humanities, and improvements in student behaviour, attendance and engagement.



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