Hon Peter Collier BA DipEd MLC

Hon Peter Collier BA DipEd MLC

Former Minister for Education; Aboriginal Affairs; Electoral Affairs

    Coolbinia students go bush for awareness

    6/11/2015 12:00 PM
    • Coolbinia Primary School (located within the City of Stirling) named the overall winner in the PALS Awards 2015
    • Recognised for ongoing, respectful relationships with Aboriginal people

    Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier announced the recipients of the PALS Awards 2015 today at a celebratory event in the Parliament House courtyard.


    PALS (Partnership, Acceptance, Learning, Sharing) encourages young people to take a leadership role in strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.


    Mr Collier said the Coolbinia project was an example of how schools could educate students in Aboriginal culture in fun, creative and engaging ways.


    "Coolbinia ran a whole-of-school PALS project focused on enhancing relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, with all 429 students enrolled at the school participating," he said.


    "The project focused on learning about boodja (country) through stewardship of their local bushland, and included inviting Aboriginal educators to the school, and publishing a book on their learning and experiences."


    The book, Heart of Coolbinia: Our bush trail, featured the students' understandings of the plants and animals in their bushland.


    The Aboriginal educators led students on 'learning journeys' through the bushland, helping them identify bush foods and medicines, tools and local animals.


    The Minister said that success of the PALS program demonstrated the willingness of young people to embrace reconciliation and cultural awareness.


    "The program allows non-Aboriginal students to learn more about Aboriginal culture in an engaging way, and creates an opportunity for our Aboriginal students to be proud of their culture and history," he said.


    In 2015, 367 schools across the State co-ordinated 422 PALS projects.


    "I'm pleased we had almost twice the number of schools running projects as we did last year. I congratulate all of the schools involved for their willingness to participate," Mr Collier said.


    Fact File

    • In 2015, 367 schools across the State co-ordinated 422 PALS projects
    • Finalist and winner bios are available online at http://www.daa.wa.gov.au

    Minister's office - 6552 6300


    The winning and finalist schools in each category are:


    Aboriginal Language

    Winner: Woodlupine Primary School (Forrestfield)

    Finalist: Glen Huon Primary School (Eaton)


    Community Participation

    Winner: Coolbinia Primary School (Coolbinia)

    Finalist: Mater Dei College (Edgewater)

    Finalist: Banksia Grove Catholic Primary School (Banksia Grove)

    Finalist: Warlawurru Catholic School (Halls Creek)


    Student Engagement

    Winner: Geographe Primary School (Bovell)

    Finalist: Moorditj Noongar Community College (Middle Swan)



    Winner: Parkfield Primary School (Australind)

    Finalist: Cecil Andrews Senior High School (Seville Grove)



    Winner: East Butler Primary School (Butler)

    Finalist: Westminster Education Support Centre (Westminster)


    Arts and Culture

    Winner: La Grange Remote Community School (Broome)

    Winner: Presbyterian Ladies' College (Peppermint Grove)


    PALS 2015 overall winner (Troy Cook Award)

    Winner: Coolbinia Primary School (Coolbinia)