Developing Leadership

The pathway to Graduation and beyond

A pathway is mapped out for each individual student that joins the Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Foundation. This pathway is based on literacy and numeracy levels, interests, jobs and opportunities back in their community and their drive to take up new challenges. The Foundation asks the students to ‘dream big’ and to set goals they never thought possible to achieve. We then plan the journey for them and break the goals down into stepping stones so they can see where they are, where they want to go, and how they are going to get there.

The Foundation works with the educational institutions to:

  • Test and assess the students’ academic levels
  • Design and implement an individual learning plan to meet the needs of each student
  • Establish a set of goals and a timeline so that each student can clearly identify with their pathway

The Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Foundation has now moved beyond Secondary School with its first Graduate in 2012 and is looking forward to creating networks with Tertiary and Higher Educational Institutions. The Foundation is also exploring opportunities for these young men to take on positions of full time and part time work after graduation in order to achieve their goals.


The long term plan

The Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Foundation is striving to make a difference in the lives of the future generation of young men from North East Arnhem Land. As the Yolngu culture is a patriarchal society, it is important that young men develop the skills to enable them to take on leadership positions and become role models in their respective communities.

The Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Foundation aims to provide opportunities to equip as many students as possible with heightened education levels and leadership qualities. The Foundation will support these young men for as long as they choose to commit to the program; it maybe for one or two years at Secondary School or longer if they choose to study at tertiary level. The longer they spend living in the western world, the greater will be their capacity to ‘walk in two worlds’.

A dream of the Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Foundation is to also provide opportunities for the young ‘miyalk’ girls of Arnhem Land. We plan to set up a leadership program and living quarters for young Yolngu women so that they too can learn to ‘walk in two worlds’ and better provide a healthy lifestyle for their children in the future, as well as improving their education and career options. The greatest indicator that a student will learn to read is if their mother is educated and literate. We hope to support the young female leaders of Arnhem Land in the future.


Achievements and successes to date

The Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Foundation was established in 2011 and has seen many successes over this short period of time.

  • Yirrmal Marika completed Year 11 in 2011 and graduated with a VCAL certificate in 2012.
  • Yirrmal Marika completed a Certificate II in Music at Oxygen Music College in 2013.
  • In 2014, Yirrmal was accepted into North Melbourne Institute of Technology (NMIT), Fairfield campus to study Certificate III in Music. This was successfully achieved at the completion of 2014.
  • Dion Wunungmurra completed Year 10 and Year 11 in 2012/2013 respectively and graduated from his Year 12 studies in 2014.
  • Jerol Wunungmurra joined the Foundation mid-way through 2012. He completed Year 10 in 2012 and Year 11 in 2013 and graduated with a VCE certificate in 2014.
  • Both Dion and Jerol successfully completed a Certificate II in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care.
  • Yirrmal Marika and Jerol Wunungmurra were appointed leadership positions within St. Joseph’s College as Fire Carriers. Yirrmal took up the position in 2012 and Jerol in 2013.
  • Isaac Wunungmurra was appointed Fire Carrier, a leadership position at St. Joseph’s College, for the 2016 school year.
  • Jazariah Marrkula was appointed the Deputy Captain of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) student core group. This position is for the 2016 school year.
  • A number of other students have participated in the program for between one term and one-year duration, before deciding to return to their families. These former participants all got a lot out of being immersed in the western society, and are all now either completing their secondary education in their community, studying at higher education institutions or have found employment.