“Our task is to educate our students’ whole being so they can face the future. We may not see the future, but they will and our job is to help them make something of it” – Sir Ken Robinson

In this issue

Our young refugee, asylum seeker and new arrival women are at the forefront of our work.  We consistently seek out ways to improve and sustain our school values and purpose, and ultimately the outcomes of all students.
Some quotes from Sir John Jones that reflect well on our commitment to our young women:

 “They will all forget what we made them learn, but they will never forget how we made them feel.”  

 “Often, average children are the most invisible in our schools, our relentless pursuit of excellence must be for all!”

Our school is not yet two years old and I am confident we have an outstanding team of professional educators delivering outstanding, specialist EAL, trauma-informed practice. We strive to be reflective and open to identifying opportunities for continuous improvement. Our students face complex personal challenges, with behaviours, health challenges and risks that need to be responded to, often at short notice. Because we have a small multi-disciplinary team there never seems to be quite enough hours in the day. In September our education team had a facilitated priority learning conversations day and our annual student survey got underway. We are piloting a model for student leadership to strengthen student voice. This is important as we plan and prepare for 2019.  
We welcome constructive feedback and ideas from our school community (especially our student’s family/carers, volunteers and donors) at any time but would especially welcome it in the coming month as part of this. I will endeavour to check-in with stakeholders through Term 4, and encourage you to drop in and share any feedback or suggestions - my office door is mostly open! Or my mobile is 0419 584 134 and email is There is also a suggestion box on the table directly opposite my office door for anonymous feedback or comments.  It takes a whole-of-school community partnership to make a school great and we will strive to listen to all reasonable, constructive feedback – so feel free to challenge us! 

– Lisa Wilson, RNS Foundation Principal and RNS Director

Alumni & Staff Profile: Meet Imelda

Hi, I’m 20 years old and was born in Papua New Guinea and I speak three languages – Pidgeon, my Dad’s language ... and now English! I came to Australia in 2014 as an Asylum Seeker. Back at PNG my life was a mess and I didn’t feel comfortable, safe or free. I find it hard to talk about it. But since I came to Australia I feel free to do anything and go anywhere.
I enrolled at River Nile in 2015 and achieved my VCAL in 2017!  The River Nile has helped me in lots of different ways, I like this school, I feel like this is my home. Some advice I’d share with other students is that the teachers will help you with all your work and Lisa and John can will help you with lots of other stuff!  If you want to achieve your goals, ask for help with problems and try your best to focus on your studies.
My dream is to be an electrician and one-day manage my own electrical business. River Nile helped me get started and this year I have completed a pre-apprenticeship course at Holmesglen Institute. Unfortunately, because I only have a short term visa, I haven’t yet been able to find someone willing to give me an apprenticeship.  
I have three casual jobs one of which is as a Multicultural Education Aide with River Nile mentoring other students to support their engagement. I love helping others.

2019 enrolments

Our 2019 VCAL Transition Day will be held on Wednesday 5th December 2019, 10.30 am – 1 pm.  This is for new and prospective students.  Drop ins are welcome, although it’s preferred if we are contacted in advance to assist with planning. Please email or phone (03) 9329 8425.
As a school that specialises in supporting EAL students who have had disrupted schooling or are struggling to cope with mainstream education, we take enrolments at any time across the school year.
Unique aspects of our service include:
  • Welfare support to resolve complex personal issues for students
  • Individualised learning and support
  • Assistance with MYKI Public Transport, lap tops and other support to remove barriers to education.
  • Childcare for students who are young mums
Prospective students, their current Schools or referral agencies can make appointments to visit our school to discuss our offering.  While we have flexibility, generally Wednesday or Thursday late morning suit best.  To make a time, please phone (03) 9329 8425 or email

Movie Night Fundraiser

Palace Cinemas Brighton Bay
7 pm, Thursday 15th November 2018

THE BAULKHAM HILLS AFRICAN LADIES TROUPE is a celebration of the remarkable spirits of four African women survivors of sexual abuse, and the triumph of their improbable theatre troupe.  Four women fled from different parts of Africa to Australia in order to escape violence and abuse. They find a safe haven in Australia, but still they hold their pain silently within them. Until they decide to join a theatre group… and speak out. Under the nurturing guidance of theatre director Ros Horin, they collaborate to let their life stories be transformed into an extraordinary and joyously uplifting theatrical experience. This film charts their personal journeys from trauma to healing and public triumphs, as the Troupe’s show moves from a stage in western Sydney out to the world.
River Nile friends, and friends of friends, can view the film trailer and can buy tickets here

Please purchase tickets as early as you can, and if possible by 05/11/2018 to ensure we easily exceed the tipping point for this event to proceed.

Education Programs

It has been another successful and busy term at River Nile, with many opportunities and experiences enjoyed by the students and staff.
VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning)Foundation and Intermediate
As we approach the deadline for 2018 VCAL results, students have been working steadily towards completing various tasks and especially towards planning their Sustainability Market, to be held on Friday 2nd November. Students formed five groups across Foundation and Intermediate levels which have become the basis of their market businesses. Students wrote and presented individual professional profiles, along with business profiles, coming up with their products, purpose and logo. In preparing for the Sustainability Market, students researched a range of environmental organisations and have been completing a range of tasks on communication, problem solving and group cohesion. As the market is a work-related activity, students have also begun completing activities from the Work Related Skills Unit 2, including communicating information and ideas, planning, organising and managing a work-related activity, solving common work-related problems, working in teams and using relevant technology.
Students enrolled in VET Certificate II Business and VET Certificate II Hospitality have continued to work steadily through their units and are developing a range of transferrable skills in the process. The Hospitality students played a pivotal role in the preparation and running of the River Nile School Pop Up café in August, working with guidance from Konjo Mama to pull off a highly successful day.

In VCE Bridging EAL (English as an Additional Language) Unit 2, students have been exploring English Literature. They have read two short stories by Australian writers, exploring the language, themes and intentions of the authors, and they have written their own short stories following the narrative structure. Students have also started reading and interpreting the novel, ‘Looking for Alibrandi’. In preparation, students watched the film version of ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ and have begun analysing the characters and themes that emerge. Throughout this term, students have been working in ‘Literature Circle’s, in which they have read and completed activities collaboratively, enabling the cross pollination of ideas and creativity.
This term has also been a big one for students who will be moving onto further study in 2019. All VCAL students participated in a career planning session with Andrew Smith, the School-Community Engagement Officer from the Melbourne City LLEN, where they considered their skills and interests ahead of applying for courses. Several students have also engaged in one-on-one pathways conversations with their teachers and Andrew, enabling decisions to be made. A core group of students participated in ‘Guided Circles’ career planning, also with Andrew, and attended a Hair and Beauty TAFE Taster Day at Victoria Polytechnic. A number of students have also attended several TAFE Open and Experience Days at Victoria Polytechnic, RMIT, Kangan, Chisholm and Melbourne Polytechnic.
Numeracy – Intermediate
This term the intermediate numeracy class has focussed on the topic of measurement, which has presented many opportunities for students to engage in practical activities. Students have learnt about and used different measurement devices, including a thermometer, scales, rulers, measuring cups and measuring spoons. After learning about different units of measurement and different measurement devices, students enjoyed participating in practical activities such as; placing themselves in height order and then measuring their heights, estimating and then weighing classroom objects and following recipes to make a delicious morning tea of punch, carrot sticks and dip, healthy chocolate balls and chicken and salad wraps.
Numeracy – Foundation
This term’s Foundation Numeracy class have worked hard to continue to develop their mental maths skills, including addition, multiplication, division, place value and simple fractions.
In class this term we have focused on measurement and design. The students completed several tasks and activities on measurement, developing knowledge of millilitres, litres, grams and kilograms. Students also became familiar with common measurement abbreviations used in recipes and cooking, converting cups, tablespoons and teaspoons to millilitres and grams. The students worked in groups to read, interpret and prepare simple recipes, including hummus, honey oat bars and a raw cherry slice.
As the season changed, the Foundation Numeracy class used this chance to design, plan and plant their own roof top garden on level 3. The students completed a series of tasks identifying, naming and describing shapes, developing their fine motor skills whilst practising drawing shapes, using rulers and scissors and measuring and sketching a garden design in the space provided to us. The students planted rosemary, lavender, herbs and a lemon tree. The River Nile community will continue to look after the garden for the rest of the school year.
River Nile Learning Centre EAL
Students participated in group reading activities using the ‘Places on Earth’ text which encouraged discussion about various regions in the world. Other reading activities were based around the places described in the text and the ocean. Students also practiced their receptive skills and through watching and listening to YouTube clips, they enhanced their understanding of this topic. The group also worked collaboratively to make a large ocean collage made from recycled items.  Students have also been working on prepositions of place which has involved practical activities using objects and giving directions. Linked to this has been partnered activities between students about giving and receiving instructions. Towards the end of term students revised the seasons for the beginning of spring.
Co-Curricular Program
This term, students continued to participate in a variety of co-curricular activities and excursions. Students were involved in the Health and Wellbeing program at The Huddle and the self-development and wellbeing workshops run by Feriyal Glaidous from the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights.
Sessions at the Huddle focused on the reproductive system and healthy relationships, a theme that was further explored by the workshops run by Feriyal. Students reflected on what constitutes respectful relationships and considered what they expect from a ‘successful’ woman versus what society expects. These workshops and conversations have engendered much thoughtful and important discussion and will continue to be explored in future workshops.
At the Huddle, students also participated in physical activities, including badminton, soccer, basketball and volleyball. RNS now has its very own badminton set and soccer balls. With the warmer months approaching, we plan to organise regular activities at Flagstaff Gardens to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.
A group of students have also been involved with the Career Program at The Huddle, taking place on Thursdays after school, where students meet with volunteers who provide support with resume writing, interview skills and job applications. All students involved have found the program highly useful.
The students were treated to several educational and engaging excursions this term in the Arts Precinct of Melbourne. The first of these was to the National Gallery of Victoria, where students were able to see the MOMA exhibition. Students listened to a highly informative and interesting lecture on works and artists featured in the exhibition and they were provided with a packed lunch. Students also chose to explore the permanent exhibitions at the NGV, including various paintings, photographs, sculptures and designs. Along with a day at the NGV, the students were also fortunate to see a Bell Shakespeare production of Romeo and Juliet at the Arts Centre. Seeing a Shakespeare play was a new experience for many of our students, however the universality of the themes meant that all students could relate to the story while enjoying a day out.        
The term ended with a picnic lunch at Flagstaff Gardens, followed by games of badminton, soccer and handball. We now look ahead to Term 4 as we prepare for the end of yet another big year.

Give the tax-deductible gift of education

Bring change through education. Your tax-deductible donation will help young refugee and asylum seeker women, and their children, acquire the language, life and work skills to integrate and thrive in our community.
Donations can support the general needs of either our learning centre.  Or if you prefer, you may nominate if you want your donation used for a specific purpose, for example to fund a student scholarship, childcare place, work readiness training, driving or swimming lessons, material aid for a single mum, MYKI public transport or teaching resources.


Giving a tax-deductible gift:

  • Empowers refugee and asylum seeker women to participate in our community
  • Educates mothers, thereby educating whole families
  • Prepares children for their early years learning
  • Provides paid employment for qualified childcare educators who were once refugees
  • Supports new arrivals with pathways to further education and employment
  • Leverages every dollar through our many volunteers
  • Delivers award-winning, student outcomes

You can donate by:  

  • Electronic Funds Transfer
    River Nile Learning Centre
    BSB: 033 132     Account No. 308 382
  • Cheque payable to ‘River Nile Learning Centre’ posted to Level 1 – 117 Capel Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051 
  • PayPal online via   which provides an instant receipt

RNLC is an ACNC Registered Charities, endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office for charity tax concessions and as Deductible Gift Recipients.    All donations of $2 and above are tax-deductible.

Protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse

River Nile School is committed to the safety of all its students. To this end, the school is developing a culture of child safety and has and will implement policies and procedures to ensure that there is zero tolerance of child abuse in our school.
The school’s policies and procedures provide the foundation for and commitment to child safety by ensuring:
  • All school staff and volunteers comply with a code of conduct which addresses child safety. River Nile School recognises and considers existing professional codes of conduct when developing child safety codes of conduct such as Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and the Victorian Institute of Teaching Profession Code of Conduct.
  • Recruitment processes are in place to manage and reduce the risk of child abuse. In addition, processes shall be in place to ensure that there are appropriate staff induction programs, staff professional development and staff supervision arrangements to ensure a child-safe environment.
  • Policies and procedure for reporting and responding to suspected child abuse shall enable individuals to take the appropriate course of action to protect the safety of all students.
  • The development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of risk management strategies to ensure child safety in the school environment
  • Students feel safe to report abuse and have processes in place to ensure that students are empowered to raise any child safety concerns. River Nile School will support students to develop appropriate knowledge and skills so that students can identify and communicate when they don’t feel safe.
The Code of Conduct, Child Safety Policy and any further information, policies and procedures will be made available to the school community as they are developed. The school will disseminate this information through its newsletter and on the school website, to ensure that child safety becomes everyone’s responsibility.

To discuss this further, or share any concerns, comments or observation, please contact me, either in-person at the school, by telephone (03) 9329 8425 or email 
Lisa Wilson – Foundation Principal

Get Social

Keep in touch with our activities and updates, share our news and share news of your experiences with us.  Please ‘like’ and ‘follow’ us on:


For more information about our organisations, services, supporters or how to get involved, visit our websites:

About RNS & RNLC

The River Nile School (RNS) and River Nile Learning Centre (RNLC) are charitable organisations that empower disadvantaged refugee and asylum seeker women through education. We aim to provide them with the opportunity of participating in our community on a more equal footing and prepare them for employment.
All education, social welfare support and childcare are provided free-of-charge to our students, as they are unable to contribute to the cost of their education.
Through education, we seek to break the cycle of dependence on social welfare of the students and their children.
RNS and RNLC are an ACNC Registered Charities, endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office for charity tax concessions and as Deductible Gift Recipients.   

All donations of $2 and above are tax-deductible.

Copyright © 2018 River Nile School, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp