No Yirara inquiry needed: Education Minister


p2006PeterChandler2By ERWIN CHLANDA
“There  appears to be no evidence to support the need for investigation or intervention by the Department of Education,” says Education Minister Peter Chandler (pictured).
We emailed him yesterday: “Please read our reports about Yirara College, and the multitude of readers’ comments, and advise what you are doing about the situation.”
Mr Chandler released the following statement:-
“The operations of non-government schools are reviewed regularly.
“The NT Department of Education is monitoring Yirara College to ensure it fulfils the conditions for continuing registration.
“To maintain registration, non-government schools must meet specified requirements under the Education Act.
“Enshrined in the legislation are adequate safeguards for the health, safety and wellbeing of school staff and students, good governance, facilities, curriculum and financial management.
“The Department of Education met with the principal and business / administration manager at Yirara College on 9 February 2015.
“The outcome of that meeting is that there appears to be no evidence to support the need for investigation or intervention by the Department of Education.”
We have left a message with Mr Chandler’s staff to call us. We will ask him whether the Department of Education has spoken with anyone other than the principal and business / administration manager of Yirara.
EXPLANATION: The statements above were initially attributed to Deputy Chief Minster Willem Westra van Holthe because the release had come from his office. Mr Chandler was mentioned nowhere in the release which we published in full.
“I’m assuming the confusion came from my email signature block,” said the minder who had sent the release. Yes, it did.
“I would have thought you would have called me to clarify before uploading your article,” said the minder. We did, prior to publication, but got her answering machine. When she called and emailed some three hours later, after 7pm, our office was closed.


  1. Of course the NT gov won’t investigate. They are relying on the likes of Yirara to take the senior students from bush where they have cut funding.

  2. Wonder if the education minister Peter Chandler actually went into Yirira incognito without notice and saw what actually goes on there.
    It’s only when that happens that something can be judged. It’s alright for someone to book an appointment and turn up – they know that they have to put on a good show – but the real value lies in when someone can turn up unexpectedly and find everything ship shape.

  3. Were there students at the school on the date the Department of Education visited? Whether there were or not, it goes to show the Department only want to know what they are told.
    I suspect they are afraid to investigate further. They would have heard the talk.
    Yes, perhaps Yirara ticks the boxes but does that make it permissible for the mayhem and chaos that appear to have been happening for some time?
    Does the chairman of the Finke River Mission actually verbalise that it is OK for students to run amok, for student and staff to be endangered, for verbal and physical threats to continue to happen? Just wondering.


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