The Garma Institute sits at the top of an education pipeline that provides a Yolngu-centred curriculum for local students, through the Dhupuma Barker junior school and the Dhupuma Studio secondary school.

Education works best when it’s led by the local community, and YYF is working hand-in-hand with parents and families every step of the way, ensuring there’s community involvement in everything from the design of the buildings to what’s taught in the classroom.

Junior School

The Dhupuma Barker junior school is a Transition to Year 6 school based in Gunyangara.

The school is a partnership between Barker College and the Yothu Yindi Foundation, and celebrated its second birthday in April 2023.

Dhupuma Barker is a bilingual school which combines Yolngu cultural knowledge and learning with a traditional western curriculum, to deliver a truly unique classroom syllabus that emphasises the importance of Yolngu Matha (language), Rom (law) and Galtha (ways of learning).

It’s a formula which is already delivering outstanding results, achieving excellent attendance rates, and in May 2023, a team from the school showed its talent when it blitzed the VEX World Robotics Championships in Dallas, Texas.

Dhupuma Barker is currently operating out of two small demountable buildings in Gunyangara, but a more permanent home is being built for the school in the community.

Secondary School

The Dhupuma Studio School will be a residential secondary school for Yolngu students in northeast Arnhem Land.

The school is a partnership between Studio Schools of Australia (SSA) and the Yothu Yindi Foundation.

It will be based on SSA’s successful Yiramalay model in the Kimberley, which has delivered 90 per cent attendance rates and seen 80 per cent of students move on to further education or employment after school.