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Indigenous Program

A commitment to Indigenous Education

Loreto Normanhurst’s commitment to Indigenous Education originates in our core purpose, which is to respond to the Mission and Vision of the IBVM and apply these values and principles in all areas, including justice for Australia's First Nations Peoples.

“Our mission is to bring the gospel to life by our own witness and by supporting the spiritual development of individuals and communities. We promote a freedom of referring all to God through spiritual ministries, education, and any other works which meet the needs of our times...”

As a Loreto school, we must respond to these Calls and integrate them into our own LN Mission in relation to every aspect of learning and growth of the person.

In response to this call, our curriculum has evolved to develop in all our students an understanding of Indigenous cultures, histories and communities through experiences, education and relationships. 

In 2005, the first 2-week Far North Queensland Experience for Year 9 students was implemented. The Outreach Program has the theme 'Caring for Country, Walking Beside', and incorporates active engagement in the Yarrabah community.

In 2021, we introduced a compulsory immersion for Year 10 students to the remote homelands of Arnhem Land and Cape York. This immersion is unique as it is the traditional owners who invite us onto their homelands where we deepen our understanding of Australia’s First Nations Peoples and their culture and spirituality.

These experiences assist in making sense of and humanising key Indigenous national issues, bringing to the foreground a focus on The Apology to the Stolen Generation, the National Close the Gap Campaign, Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week and all that these mean in the deep sense of justice for Australia’s First Nations Peoples.

Loreto Normanhurst is proud to offer a dedicated Indigenous Program to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from across Australia

Loreto Normanhurst offers bursaries to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students so they may have a greater educational opportunity than perhaps is available in their own community. These students are drawn from all over Australia: Bourke, Broome, Darwin and other parts of NSW. The school works in partnership with the students’ families and communities so they remain connected to their community in a relevant and respectful way. This program is supported by generous donations to the school’s Bursary (Welfare) Fund and in its partnership with the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF).

For those Indigenous students in our program, we aim to:

  • Encourage and nurture students’ cultural knowledge and understanding.
  • Instill a spirit of acceptance and individuality, with the ability to recognise different backgrounds, challenges and experiences with a deep understanding and compassion.
  • Continue our commitment to Reconciliation through the Loreto Normanhurst Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), as well as through acknowledging and supporting Close the Gap initiatives.
  • Support students’ academic study to foster a sense of independence and confidence.
  • Work in partnership with students’ families and communities so they remain connected to their community in a relevant and respectful way.
  • Encourage students to connect with each other, the land and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are living locally. This four-pillar program focuses on: Strong Mind, Body and Spirit, Connection to Country, Communication through the Arts, and Deadly Sisters (women’s business).
  • Provide a dedicated space that encompasses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and that is welcoming and safe for students, family and community.  

For our entire Loreto Community, this program:

  • In line with our Strategic Plan, supports the development of a diverse community of young women, who grow in empathy for others, build dialogue by sharing perspective and story, and are prepared to contribute to a future Australia and inter-connected world.
  • Ensures that, as a community, we are culturally sensitive and better educated than ever before about Indigenous issues, driving authenticity and action in the area of justice for First Nations peoples.


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