top of page
Red dots banner.jpg


Community partnerships are core to the work of the Community Spirit Foundation. The support from the local community and school leadership is what enables the Foundation to deliver its programs and enables us to make a difference.

Community Spirit Foundation currently partners with four remote First Nations communities: Galiwin'ku and Wurrumiyanga in the Northern Territory, and Palm Island and Woorabinda in Queensland.


When the Foundation aligns with schools and community leaders, it sends a strong message to a child that education matters. The Foundation helps leverage strengths of all parties and creates harmony for the shared goal, being the improved education and well-being of the children.

A key component of the success of Community Spirit Foundation programs in these communities is the holistic approach the Foundation takes in creating positive education outcomes. Integral to this approach is employing local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to run our programs in community. 

The process involved in establishing community partnerships is lengthy and complex. In essence the shared criteria, among community partners involves:

  • Based in a remote discrete Indigenous community

  • Welcoming support from the community and school leaders

  • Population of 1,000 plus

  • Established primary and secondary schools

  • No duplication of services

  • Long term commitment to the delivery of programs.

Palm Island


Approximately 2,400


Participating students



Average school attendance
76% (according to Australian Bureau of Statistics)

School partners
Bwgcolman Community School (Pre-prep – Year 12)
St Michael’s Catholic School (Pre Prep – Year 6)

Palm Island, also known as Great Palm Island, or by the Aboriginal name Bwgcolman, is a tropical island paradise situated 65 kilometres north west or a 15 minute plane ride off the coast of Townsville in North Queensland. It is the main island of the Greater Palm group and consists of small bays, sandy beaches and steep forested mountains rising to more than 500 metres.  


The traditional owners of Palm Island are the Manbarra and Bwgcolman Peoples. In 1914, the Queensland Government seized control of the community.  During the next 20 years, more than 1600 people from over 40 different tribes throughout Queensland were sent to the island and were banned from speaking their traditional language and undertaking traditional practices.  


In 1985, the Queensland government finally passed jurisdiction of the island to the Palm Island Community Council, giving residents greater autonomy in administering the Island. Today, Palm Island is one of Australia’s largest remote Indigenous communities, with around 2400 residents, and local governance is via the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council. Palm Island brings together 40 different tribes who call themselves the Bwgcolman people, meaning “many tribes”, “under the sun”, or simply “Palm Island”.  


The community of Wurrumiyanga is located on Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory. It is situated 80 kilometres north of Darwin in the Arafura Sea.  


The Tiwi people have inhabited Bathurst and Melville Islands for more than 40,000 years and belong to the wider Tiwi Island clans of which there are eight. They speak Tiwi as their first language, however students study in English.  


Wurrumiyanga is the largest community in the Tiwi Islands with a population of approximately 1500.  


Approximately 1,500


Participating students



Average school attendance
50% (according to Australian Bureau of Statistics)


School partners

Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School
Xavier Catholic College


Approximately 2,200


Participating students



Average school attendance
35% (according to Australian Bureau of Statistics)


School partners

Shepherdson College

Elcho Island is located at the southern end of the Wessel Islands group located in the East Arnhem Region of the Northern Territory. The island’s largest community is Galiwin’ku, which is the largest Aboriginal community in north east Arnhem Land, and the second largest Aboriginal community (in terms of concentrated population) in the Northern Territory.  


Galiwin’ku is home to the Yolngu people. Yolngu means ‘Aboriginal person’ in the languages of northern Arnhem Land. Yolngu is also the name given to a group of clans who live in Galiwin’ku, Gapuwiyak, Milingimbi, Ramingining and Yirrkala and speak a dialect of one of a number of closely related languages. The common language across the Arnhem Region is Djambarrpuyngu.  Yolngu people identify themselves first by their family group, then by their clan and language, and finally by their family’s country.  



Woorabinda is located in Central Queensland, 170 kilometer's or a two hour drive south west of Rockhampton. Woorabinda means ‘kangaroo sit down’. Woorabinda is situated on the traditional lands of the Wadja Wadja and Ghungalu Aboriginal People and covers 391 square kilometers.  

Woorabinda was first established in 1927 as a replacement for the Aboriginal camp at Taroom. Indigenous people from around 52 clans across Queensland were forcibly placed in the camp.  

Approximately 1,000


Participating students



Average School attendance
62% (according to Australian Bureau of Statistics)


School Partners

Woorabinda Primary School
Wadja Wadja High School

bottom of page