Darwin Middle School Becomes Independent Public School 13 Nov 2015

The Minister for Education today announced that Darwin Middle School has been chosen to become an Independent Public School (IPS).

The decision for Darwin Middle School to become an IPS in 2016 was later than the other schools announced in August as the selection panel process was delayed. 

Darwin Middle School joins the other six Territory public schools chosen to become IPS in 2016, bringing the total number of IPS in the Territory to 13.


Darwin Middle School is the first middle school in the Territory to gain IPS status and joins Larrakeyah Primary School and Darwin High School in the local area which have been successfully operating as IPS since January 2015.

The appointment of Darwin Middle School offers students a pathway from primary through middle and senior years in IPS schools, providing outstanding educational opportunities for students and offering a highly competitive alternative to non-government schools.

Darwin Middle School intends to work closely with Darwin High School to develop the Bullocky Point Educational Precinct which will also include the new Northern Territory Open Education Centre.

“IPS provides us with an exciting opportunity in the next chapter of Darwin Middle School and our learning journey”, says Marcus Dixon, Principal of Darwin Middle School. “We look forward to expanding the opportunities for our students, particularly in the areas of the arts and science”

Darwin Middle School will commence operating under its new status in January 2016 and has already begun preparing for this.

Alawa lauded for land care lessons 13 Nov 2015

Alawa Primary School won the Junior Landcare Team Award at the gala presentation of the 2015 NT Landcare Awards on 11 November.

Junior Landcare encourages young people to learn about sustainability and play a role in ensuring the safe future of their environment.

The award was presented before an audience of 290 people for the successful promotion of Landcare principles and philosophies to young people up to 18 years old, and acknowledged the success of the school’s diverse environmental projects.

Principal Sandy Cartwright believes the school’s students are exposed to a “variety of learning climates” through initiatives as varied as the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program, the maintenance of food and native plant gardens, and the installation of a frog pond.

“We were commended on the focus the school has placed on sustainability and hands-on science since 2004, with particular reference to the kitchen garden program.

“The emphasis is on the effective management of resources, whether they’re the ingredients of nutritious meals through the Stephanie Alexander program, or the conservation of our school ecosystems,” she said.

“We are quite proud of the award as a validation of our sustainability ethos, and look forward to contending in this category at the national competition next year.”


(Pictured: Principal Sandy Cartwright and her team receive an award photograph and trophy)

Tracy film set to storm BUFTA awards 13 Nov 2015

Emerging film-maker and Darwin High School student, Nathaniel Kelly, is competing for national honours for After Tracy, his film and finalist in this year’s Bond University Film & Television Awards.

The 10-minute film by the Year 12 student is one of many movies since his first production, made when he was four years old, and demonstrates his versatility as a writer-director, camera operator and music composer.

Created by his company, A Bird Studio, After Tracy was inspired by discussions about the 40th anniversary of Cyclone Tracy, and follows the search in the aftermath of the disaster by a teenage survivor for his father.

“I talked to my dad and others about the anniversary, and I think that sparked me to make the film,” he said. “It was a great experience talking to many cyclone survivors and historians.”


Largely filmed in a week, and edited in a month, After Tracy is one of five short films made by Nathaniel this year, additional to his cinematographic commitments to the movies of other film-makers, television commercials, client films and school work.

“I’m grateful for the help I’ve had in the making of After Tracy, including the students from my school who volunteered as actors, some with lots of experience doing stage acting and in theatrical performances.”

In pursuit of a career in films, Nathaniel is applying to universities in Melbourne and Sydney, and Bond University in Queensland.

The public can now vote their favoured film to win a BUFTA 2015 People’s Choice Award.