2016 Award Winners

The Department congratulates the winning and finalist schools in the 2016 PALS Awards.

PALS 2016 Troy Cook Award

Mater Dei College           Troy Cook Award


 Mater Dei College

The winning schools are:

Wesley College Student Engagement and Community Participation         

Moorditj Mob Workshops and Performances – Students developed a Songlines Workshop to celebrate the 2016 NAIDOC Week theme. Students learnt about their rich Aboriginal culture from local Noongar Elders and created a workshop that they performed at 18 different primary and secondary schools duringTerms 2 and 3.

 Wesley College

Parkfield Primary School Health and Wellbeing

Marlak Kadjininy - Bush Understanding – The school promoted the understanding of health and wellbeing through native plants. Students gained first hand knowledge of what plants could be used for and the nutritional value of these foods. Along with extending their existing PALS Bush Tucker Garden, the students held a Bush Tucker Tasting Parents Night using food grown from the native garden. 

 Parkfield Primary School

Landsdale Primary School Environment

Landsdale Bush Tucker Trail – The school created a Bush Tucker Trail that connected their Aboriginal Seasons Totems, frog pond and fire pit/storytelling area. Students learned about the local fauna and researched native plants, and went on to create the Bush Tucker Trail. The students are responsible for maintaining the Trail, which has given them a strong bond with the land. 

 Landsdale Primary School

Gilmore College

Digital and Technology

Mulka the Giant – The school created a two metre interactive model of Mulka the Giant, which has inbuilt electrical circuitry that enables interactivity with the audience. Mulka the Giant’s eyes light up and his head moves from side to side to engage the audience, while lighting, a smoke machine and an audio track of his story provide a visually stimulating experience. The students went on to use technology to research other traditional Aboriginal stories which gave them a greater understanding of our rich culture. 

 Gilmore College


Mater Dei College Arts and Culture

ResilienceKADADJINY KALYAKOOL Production - Thinking, Listening and Learning Always. The College utilised their Drama, Home Economic, Choir, Design and Technology and Visual Art Departments to create an insightful drama performance that celebrated the lives of seven important Aboriginal people. The performance included more than 120 students, the school choir and a seven metre mural hand drawn by students of Kath Walker, Miriam Rose, Cathy Freeman, David Unaipon, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and Vincent Lingiari. The school has since gone on to perform the piece to more than 1,400 people, and continues to share itsreconciliation message with the community. 

 Mater Dei College


Muludja Remote Community School Aboriginal Language and History

Cultural Histories Past and Present – The students, with guidance from the Principal, researched vocabulary associated with each Aboriginal season and how changes in the environment affects the lifestyles of a traditional hunter/gatherer in the community. Students looked into their own family structure to identify the important role each family member had and were exposed to the local language in the community. The school has acknowledged that history and culture cannot be taught as a once-off and will continue to integrate these learnings throughout classroom activities. 

 Muludja Remote Community School


The runner up schools are:

Meekatharra District High School Student Engagement and Community Participation            

Our Place Our Time – The school held an exhibition of art and photographs produced by both students and the wider community. The exhibition focused on showcasing the lives, history and culture of Meekatharra. Students also prepared food, decorations and posters for the exhibition event, and created radio adverts to promote the event within the community. The project encouraged the community to engage with the school in a meaningful way.

   Meekatharra District High School
Margaret River Primary School Health and Wellbeing

Cultural Group Program – The students created a traditional dance group, with guidance from Wardandi Elders, and went on to perform in front of 300 people at the Cultural Centre and at various other celebration events. The students' wellbeing has been enhanced by a stronger connection to culture and respect for their local traditions.

 Margaret River Primary School

Bunbury Primary School Environment

Harmony Garden – The school created a Harmony Garden, which acts as a place to learn and share as one and to acknowledge Aboriginal culture. The students and teachers planted trees to surround a mia-mia, engraved tree stumps to symbolise the six Aboriginal seasons, created mosaic artwork to acknowledge the animals and environment, and designed totems to reflect how Aboriginal people communicated messages. The Harmony Garden is a valued teaching hub and a respected place within the community and school grounds.

Bunbury Primary School  


Presbyterian Ladies’ College Digital and Technology

iBooks and Digital Resources – The school produced two iBooks for the students and teachers. One of the iBooks is especially for new Aboriginal students starting at Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC), and the second iBook is to introduce all students at PLC to some Aboriginal culture and highlight what's available at PLC to support Aboriginal education and reconciliation. The iBooks are a useful and engaging way to promote reconciliation within the school and to educate the students and community.



Woodlands Primary School Arts and Culture

Warakurna Water Well Project – The school engaged a local Aboriginal artist to work with the students to produce an eye catching, colourful and welcoming visual landmark for the school grounds. The students and artist designed and painted the water well to include elements of both the Ngaanyatjarra Lands (Warakurna) Aboriginal seasons and the Noongar Aboriginal Seasons. The Warakurna Water Well Project communicates a sense of belonging, acceptance and appreciation of Aboriginal art and culture. 


Woodlands PS

John XXIII College

Aboriginal Language and History

 Local Area History – The students created a thorough historical survey and report of the college site from pre-contact until the present day, and created a website to share these findings with the school and local community. Through their research, the students gained valuable insight and knowledge into the uses and users of the college area. A deeper understanding of the connection to Country was an important focus of their work, and led to a greater understanding of reconciliation and a will to take this into their lives beyond school. Visit their website here:


 John XXIII College