The name of a new public school in Schofields will honour the local Aboriginal people and their custodianship of the land on which the school is located.
Currently under construction on Farmland Drive in Schofields, the Galungara Public School is situated on traditional Darug land and its name recognises the continuing heritage of the first inhabitants.
Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly said the name, Galungara, is the Darug word which translates to ‘the stem” or “the flower stalk’ of the Xanthorrhoea Australis (grass tree).
The Xanthorrhoea tree itself is an ancient species which grows in south-eastern Australia and produces a resin that has been used by aboriginal people for thousands of years to make traditional tools and adornments.
“Naming the school ‘Galungara’ provides the opportunity to acknowledge our Darug predecessors,” Mr Conolly said.
“I am advised that the whole school project will continue the sense of connection with the Aboriginal custodians of the land through the choice of the school name, emblem, building identifiers, playground space and uniform.”
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said the school name was chosen after community consultation via an on-line platform where four possible school names were proposed.
“Support for the name ‘Galungara’ was strong with 48 per cent of the incoming parent community, Department of Education personnel and the wider local community voting for this name.
“Darug Ngurra, formerly The Aboriginal Tribal Corporation, along with Nurragingy Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) also expressed their support of Galungara in recognition of its significance to the Darug people.
Mr Conolly has also been involved in the consultation process which has led to the choice of the name “Galungara”.
The new school in the Schofields area is needed due to rapid population growth arising from substantial residential development in this part of the North West Growth Area of Sydney.
Blacktown Council advises that in 2020 the population for the Alex Avenue precinct land release, where the school is situated will be 9,551 and forecast to grow to 19,174 by 2036.
Galungara Public School will cater for up to 500 students from Kindergarten to Year 6 but it has been master planned for up to 1,000 students from years K-6 including a support unit of three classes.
The school is rapidly taking shape on the site at Farmland Drive, as pre-constructed modules are delivered and assembled.
The school will be operational from Day One, Term 1 2021.