Senior students at Laynhapuy Homelands School in Arnhem Land are making inspirational progress in class while staying connected to family and country, thanks to an innovative approach to education. Here they explain what flying with MAF means to them.
Yalanba Mununggurr is a Laynhapuy Homelands School Year 12 student from Gurrumuru. He describes how the support of the school has helped him grow while staying close to his community, and how flying with MAF has encouraged his dream of becoming a pilot. He has already had the opportunity of a flying lesson with a MAF instructor, which has added to his motivation.
“I love flying with MAF every week and during the flights I always love watching and talking to the pilots and seeing all the views from the plane. That’s my favourite part, and also seeing different places and knowing different students from each homeland,” he said.
“In Garrthalala, I always love to work with teachers and do work experiences during school.
“That’s the important thing to do; go to school every day, be positive and stay strong.
“It felt good, my first time flying the plane, I was a bit nervous at first.
“First of all, when I jumped in the plane, the pilot starts to explain what to press to start the engine or start the fuel pump. I’ve seen them when they picked us up and I always see what to press.
“It’s an amazing view when you’re next to the pilot. They always tell me, when they fly the plane, they explain at the same time.
“It would be very awesome to be a Yolngu pilot - it’s different from all the jobs, planes is a hard job, but I like to work with them and learn from them.
“I flew the plane, they told me all the instructions and procedures they have to do.
“(My family) they are very proud for me to get a job, a different job, and they are very proud of me also going to school and learning more. When I’m in school I do different activities, I’m very open to learn and work with the MAF pilots and teachers.
“I was hoping I can go to college or uni to start learning about engineering. As a Yolngu, the uni and college is very different to our schools like Makarrata. Always, the teachers told me to make my own decision so I can go to uni, they always told me to have my own decision, to think and to go to school and uni or college.”
Laynhapuy Homelands School students have had remarkable academic success because the school is built according to the wishes of the Indigenous people it serves. This innovative model involves teachers being flown by MAF to the homelands, and students being flown for short spells learning together in educational camps.
MAF is essential to Laynhapuy’s vision of bringing teachers into homelands and helping young people to remain close to their land, their culture and their family.
Teenagers in Year 10-12 attend the Laynhapuy’s Makarrata campus at the Garrthalala homeland with MAF pilots bringing them to and from school. They share what they love about school, MAF and their home.
“Hi my name is Vernon, I’m from Gurrumuru. I like to fly with MAF to Garrthalala, so I can see some new places. I also like to see crocodile and stingray.”
“Hi my name is Bangulnga, I really love to go to Garrthalala from Gurrumuru with MAF. I love to see my family.”
“My name is Matjirra, I’m from Gurrumuru. I like to fly with MAF, they are friendly and helpful.”
“Hello my name is Lawawa and I come from Gangan homelands, sometimes I’m living here in Gurrumuru. I like to get a job, and I get an education at Garrthalala school. I was flying with MAF and thank you!”