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Koolark - Centre for Aboriginal Students

Welcome to Koolark, Centre for Aboriginal Students at North Metropolitan TAFE.

Wundju Koolark

Welcome home

We are situated on the land of the Whadjuk Noongar people, the Noongar people remain the traditional peoples and cultural custodians of their land.

Koolark means Home in the Noongar language. At Koolark we provide support for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Welcome to country

Koolark would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land which all North Metropolitan TAFE campuses are located on, the Noongar (Perth region) people.

Koolark wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Student support

Koolark - Northbridge

Located at 30 Aberdeen Street, Koolark is a meeting place for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Our support officers assist with information in a range of areas to do with your studies including:

  • Course enquiries
  • Facilities
  • Fees payments and installment plans
  • Referrals to external support agencies
  • Pathway opportunities.

Other services include:

  • Mentoring
  • Advice on courses and scholarships
  • Community information and orientation sessions
  • Study facilities and study groups
  • Access to indigenous specific educational programs
  • Opportunities for non-indigenous students to enhance their professional knowledge and cultural competence.

We provide access to computers, internet, kitchen facilities, workshop facilities, whiteboard, data projector, student lounge and student mentors.

Yellagonga - Joondalup

Join us at 35 Kendrew Cr, Joondalup and we’ll sit down over a cuppa and find out where you’re at, where you’re from, what you are looking to do, and then work out the best way for you to get there.

You need to make sure that TAFE is the right place for you and that you choose a course that's right for you.

Call us to have a chat. We look forward to meeting you.

Yellagonga is equipped with:

  • Wireless internet
  • Whiteboard,
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Television and DVD player
  • Tables and chairs for group or individual work activities.

As an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander looking to get into training, find employment or further your career you'll find there's plenty of culturally sensitive services to help you get on the right track.  

Jobs and Skills Centre

Your local Jobs and Skills Centre has experience helping  jobseekers in Western Australia choose a training course or find their career path and employment.

You can visit your local Jobs and Skills Centre for free advice and information on training and employment.

The Centre can advise you regarding:

  • Career information and guidance
  • Training and course information
  • Help with job searching and job matching
  • Skills and qualification recognition information
  • Apprenticeship and traineeship assistance
  • Culturally sensitive employment and career service.

North Metropolitan TAFE has a Jobs and Skills Centre at the Balga campus, Joondalup (Kendrew Cres) campus, Midland campus and Perth campus.

Deadly Jobs Board

Aboriginal job seekers can also search the Deadly Jobs Board to find employment opportunities.

Koolark mentors are available to meet with you at your campus.

How we can help you:

  • Cultural support
  • Mentoring
  • Course enquiries and training pathways
  • Advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • Provides support with staff/lecturers and students
  • Referral to external and internal support services.

Specialised training and courses

If you're an Aboriginal community or organisation, North Metropolitan TAFE can provide specialised training and services that can be shaped and personalised to suit your every need.

We also offer some of our more popular courses and qualifications including, building and construction, cultural tourism, education and community services, and health to name but a few.

We offer a specialised skill set to help you begin a career in early childhood, talk to us now about our Early Childhood Aboriginal skill set 

North Metropolitan TAFE, sponsored by renowned Civil and Structural Design Engineering firm BG&E, is offering a new skill set to help you on your way to a career in engineering drafting, talk to us about our First Steps in Engineering Drafting skill set.

In conjunction with global transport firm, Alstom, we also have an exciting opportunity for you to get paid while you train in the rail manufacturing industry by completing our Rail Infrastructure Entry Level skill sets.

North Metropolitan TAFE has partnered with Edith Cowan University (ECU) to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with a pathway into career in nursing.

Start your journey by studying our HLT33115 Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (Assisting in Nursing Work in Acute Care) and then gain entry into HLT54115 Diploma of Nursing. If you already meet entrance requirements for the Diploma of Nursing, you can begin your journey there. NMTAFE’s Diploma of Nursing can get you into the second year of ECU’s C33 Bachelor of Science (Nursing). Have a look at our flyer (1 MB) (PDF document)for more details

If you are passionate about a career in nursing, go for it!


Cultural protocols

Protocols are the standards of behaviour that people use to show respect to each other. Every culture has different ways of communicating.

A Welcome to Country ceremony is an acknowledgment and recognition of the rights of Noongar peoples traditional country. It is an acknowledgement of the past and provides a safe passage for visitors and a mark of respect.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) provides a comprehensive set of Noongar protocols for Welcome to Country ceremonies on Noongar Land.

Living Culture - Living Land (4 MB) (PDF document) and its people - Noongar protocols

Cultural learnings

Here are just a few commonly used Noongar words and phrases. For a more comprehensive list, you may want to see the Noongar Dictionary (756 KB) (PDF document) by Rose Whitehurst.

English phrase Noongar translation
Welcome. Wundju.
Hello. Kaya!
What’s your name? Naatj noonan kwerl?
My name is ____. Nganyang kwerl _____.
How are you? Noonook moorditj?
I’m well. Ngany moorditj.
We are happy. Nguny djurapin.
Where do you live? Windji noonook nyininy?
I live in Perth. Ngany Perth-ak nyininy.
Family. Moort.
Who is your family? Ngiyan noonan moort?
My family is ______. Nganyang moort ______.
Who is your mother? Ngiyanaa noonan Ngaangk?
My mother is ______. Nganyang Ngaangk baal ______.
How many children do you have? Ngalan koolangka noonook baranginy?
I have three children. Ngany daambart koolangka barang.
What do you like to do? Naatj djoorabiny noonook warniny?
I like to play basketball. Ngany djoorabiny badjedborl waabiny.
Why are you here? Naadjil noonook nidja?

Noongar people are the traditional owners of the south-west of Western Australia and have been for over 45,000 years.

Noongar boodja (country) extends from north of Jurien Bay, inland to north of Moora and down to the southern coast between Bremer Bay and east of Esperance. It is defined by 14 different areas with varied geography and 14 dialectal groups.

This Noongar groups map is courtesy of South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council.

Symbols and icons used in art by the Noongar people of south west of Western Australia include a range of lines or dots which, depending on the region or the stories being told, can have different meanings.

From Nyittiny (beginning of time) Noongar people have used the arts to influence how they see our land, our culture, our history and our people.

Hear from our students

I believe you should find your own path, seize opportunity and live your own life.

Studying Film and Television has allowed me to showcase my work to industry through North Metro TAFE’s connections to Western Australian Film Academy. I have worked on productions to get hands on experience which will prepare me to enter the media industry.

Declan Taylor | Diploma of Screen & Media (Film & Television)

Sandro chose North Metro TAFE for the convenience and the networking links that North Metro TAFE has with industry partners, like Clough, that provide opportunities to Aboriginal students studying at North Metro TAFE.

The supportive environment that is offered at North Metro TAFE and the Koolark Aboriginal Student Support Centre has helped Sandro in completing his Diploma.

Sandro enjoyed the practical skills and classes where he got to put what he learnt into practice, and really motivated him to complete the course.

Sandro Pitt | Diploma of Engineering

Noongar seasons

Birak | first summer

December | January
Hot and dry
Season of the young


Bunuru | second summer

February | March
Hottest part of the year
Season of adolescence

Djeran | autumn

April | May
Cooler weather begins
Season of adulthood

Makuru | winter

June | July
Wettest part of the year
Fertility season

Djilba | first spring

August | September
Coldest part of the year
Season of conception

Kambarang | second spring

October | November
Height of the wildflower season.
Season of birth

The artwork for the Seasons signage was created by Nate Stuart, of the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre. Features in Nate’s designs relate each centre with the local Noongar language and culture, as well as linking all metropolitan centres together. The designs were developed in consultation with Aboriginal staff in the Department of Training and Workforce Development, Noongar Elder Danny Ford, and Aboriginal consultant Marissa Verma. Mr Ford and Ms Verma have also approved the final designs and their appropriate allocation to each of the six metropolitan centres.

Reconciliation Action Plan

Our commitment

North Metropolitan TAFE’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) enhances our existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy and annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Training Plan.

The RAP reflects our commitment to provide every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student with a quality training program delivered with cultural integrity and professional commitment — providing pathways into further education and/or employment opportunities.

RAP 2021-2023 (3 MB) (PDF document)

Artwork by Anthea Corbett
Whadjuk Wongee (Perth Talk) | Our 'Culture' past, present and future being connected through language.
© Anthea Corbett

Contact us

Student Liaison Officer at Koolark