Cyril inspiring senior students


SOME serious star power has been enlisted to inspire students from a remote Northern Territory community complete high school and move into further education, training or employment.

Four-time Hawthorn premiership hero Cyril Rioli Junior recently visited Barunga School, east of Katherine, to launch a partnership aimed at boosting completion rates and post-school outcomes.

A new flexible learning approach has seen renewed enthusiasm around senior study with the aim that Barunga School will have its first Year 12 completer in the near future.

Up to nine senior students now regularly attend school in Barunga. Several have returned to the classroom after becoming disengaged from education. It’s hoped a new partnership with Cyril’s business venture, First Step, can help students complete school and build strong futures.

“We’re about giving kids a better pathway and more options. It’s really about helping them find a pathway and really back them in terms of what they want to pursue and help them on that journey,” Cyril said.

Barunga School Principal Malcolm Hales said the partnership with First Step would complement recent changes to the senior learning.

“We set up a Year 10, 11 and 12 model where the learners, as young adults, can come to school under an adult learning model,” Mr Hales said.

“It was just a natural fit when Cyril sent me the website and I had a look at what his business did. It just fitted perfectly around what the goal of the community, which is to have their kids stay at school and finish their school in community.

“We give them a curriculum that’s appropriate and relevant to what their needs are, we find out what the kids want to do after they finish school and we help support them in that pathway towards work.”

Cyril inspiring senior students
Cyril Rioli in foreground with Barunga school staff and students.

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