Pymble Ladies’ College

A Private Independent Day and Boarding School for Girls


Enrolments Manager (Years 7-12)


(02) 9855 7613


Avon Road, Pymble NSW 2073


Pymble Ladies’ College offers AIEF Scholarships for boarding students.

Pymble Ladies’ College 2023 Report
Dr Kate Hadwen, Principal

This year marked the sixteenth year of our First Nations Scholarship Program (FNSP), of which 13 scholarships have been in partnership with AIEF.  The thriving program is supported by the Pymble Ladies’ College (Pymble) community, which recognises and appreciates the inestimable value of First Nations and non-First Nations students sharing an education that will enable them to graduate from the College as influential and compassionate young women who contribute meaningfully to their local and global communities.

The College continues to focus on building students’ Academic, Emotional, Social and Digital Intelligences, guided by our Strategic Direction for 2021-2030, Watch Us Change the World.  The Social Intelligence pillar refers to our ongoing commitment to embracing ‘diversity as the path to unity’ by listening to and learning from people of all backgrounds, including First Nations Australians.  Strategic intents stemming from this pillar include sharing stories of culture and diversity and embedding First Nations Australians’ perspectives into the curriculum and classroom practices to foster a richer, deeper understanding and respect for Australia’s history and culture and an enhanced experience for all students.

Supporting First Nations students to develop a sense of identity and pride in their culture and heritage is contributing to a growing awareness of First Nations culture and perspectives across the school.  Our First Nations students themselves are pivotal in bringing this outcome into focus in their classrooms, at school events and in the wider College community.  Top-down steps continue to make a positive impact on how staff, students and parents of the College recognise and value First Nations culture and perspectives, which in turn is leading to improved outcomes for our First Nations students, families and staff.

In 2023, there were 21 First Nations students on AIEF Scholarships at Pymble.  Four AIEF Scholarship Students completed their Higher School Certificate at the end of the year.  They each intend to undertake further studies at tertiary level, in disciplines ranging from the sciences to criminology.

Several students attended the AIEF Careers Experience Day at Qantas.  AIEF Advisors also held one-on-one career sessions with students in Years 10, 11 and 12.  These sessions helped students learn about a range of careers, write a professional CV and, for our Year 12 students, commence applications to University, TAFE and other post-school pathways.


Embracing First Nations culture as a community

Expansion of Aboriginal Studies curriculum

In 2023, we introduced our first Year 8 Aboriginal Studies class and forged new links to the local community to support our students’ learning.  Aboriginal Studies is now offered to Pymble students in Years 8 to 12.

Two First Nations students studying Aboriginal Studies for their HSC recently presented major works celebrating their mobs and family history.  One student created a book about one of her family homelands and the other created a video celebrating a sacred site of her mob and the resilience shown through life on the mission.

Appointment of Learning Leader – First Nations Histories and Cultures 7-12

This new role supports teachers in the classroom to embed First Nations culture and related topics within different areas of the curriculum.

Mentorship of First Nations students

One of our First Nations graduates visited the College to speak with current students about life post-school, share their stories and offer tips for success.  The students reported that this mentoring by an alumna is of true value.

Waratah Project update

Our participation in the Waratah Project, where schools openly share practice and strategies for First Nations education, continues to see an impact on educational outcomes for our First Nations students.  The first meeting of the year took place at St Andrew’s Cathedral School, with the keynote presentation on Aboriginal Spirituality delivered by Aboriginal pastor Uncle Ray MinnieconIn 2023, the Waratah Project welcomed five new schools and grew to a total of 35.

On Country learning and connections

The Deputy Principal, Indigenous Education Leader, Indigenous Students’ Education Co-ordinator and a member of our Boarding staff participated in an on-Country learning day run by Tribal Warriors.  A boat cruise around Sydney Harbour highlighted significant sites and activities of the First Nations people of the Sydney area.  We hope to incorporate this learning activity into further professional learning for staff and/or as a weekend activity for Boarding students.

At the start of Term 3, Pymble staff visited current First Nations families and interviewed prospective scholars for 2024.  This time spent on Country and building early connections help form the strong and culturally aware relationships between staff, students and their families.


NAIDOC Week at Pymble celebrated the richness of First Nations cultures, the depth of their stories and the strength of their custodianship.  The week featured a Secondary School assembly, segments in the Junior School assemblies, a fundraising bake sale for the charity Children’s Ground, and Secondary School students reading books and sharing stories in Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 classes.  Our students also produced this video about what NAIDOC means to them.

Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation Week celebrations at Pymble included assemblies, fundraisers, Chapel services, library displays and Compass Group activities.  Our Year 8 students also produced a video about the steps they plan to take to ‘Be a Voice for Generations’, as per this year’s theme.

Goodooga Games

A group of Pymble students and teachers travelled to Dubbo and Goodooga to connect with schools and participate in the 2023 Goodooga Indigenous Games.  This included a range of traditional activities to teach children how to be independent on Country, source food through hunting and gathering and connect as a community.  Our students returned to Pymble with a richer understanding of our nation’s history and the proud sense of community in our rural schools.

City-Country Partnership with Milingimbi School

The College welcomed visitors from Milingimbi School, East Arnhem Land and members of the Yadha Muru Foundation, which facilitates the City-Country Partnership program.  Our visitors spent the day observing classes, activities and learning areas in the Junior and Secondary Schools, sharing their culture, spending time in our First Nations yarning circle and yarning with our First Nations students.  The purpose of the visit was to enable our visitors to get to know Pymble, our people, and consider a partnership opportunity that would benefit both schools.

Arnhem Land Immersion

In October, 12 students visited Arnhem Land on a cultural immersion with two staff members.  The tour included time at Gulkula, the site of Garma Festival; a cultural tour of Nhulunbuy including a unique experience with local women; a visit to Yirrkala, home of the historic bark petition; and an extended visit to the isolated homeland community of Nyinyikay.  Here students delved into the fascinating world of bush medicine and traditional food (tucker), explored local crafts and traditions, and gained insights into local lore and kinship systems.

AIEF Scholarship Program Details
Taree, Bourke, Holloway’s Beach, Kowanyama, Boigu Island, Walgett, Nhulunbuy, Daly River, Narrabri, Nowra, Moree, Avoca Beach, Coonamble, Thursday Island, Noosaville, Dubbo, Darwin, Mount Low, Malak, Cherbourg, Mer Island, Shoalhaven Heads, Lake Condah, Coconut Grove, Brungle, Corrimal, Lightning Ridge

The College expects to welcome six new First Nations scholars to our community in 2024.  The students hail from Mutijulu (Year 7), Walgett (Year 7), Bourke (Year 7), Narrabri (Year 8) and Dubbo (Years 7 and 10).  All candidates went through an online interview process, were visited in their community, had a one-week immersion at Pymble with Boarding, and will experience an orientation program in Term 4 with other new students.

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