Yirara College was established in 1973 as a government secondary residential college. It was funded under the federal welfare program, specifically for traditionally oriented Aboriginal students residing in isolated Aboriginal communities throughout remote central Australia. At the time of its inception, the College's main purpose was to expose Aboriginal youth to social development through an educational program, designed to help them adjust into western society.
In 1991 the NT government sought expressions of interest from churches as to whether they may wish to assume control of Yirara College. The majority of Aboriginal people living in isolated feeder communities in central Australia clearly and continually stated they wanted Yirara to be a Christian school under the control of Finke River Mission (FRM).
Later in 1991 negotiations between FRM, the central Australian Aboriginal parent family client group, the Northern Territory Government and the Federal Government took place with the aim of FRM assuming control of the College under a suitable funding arrangement, commencing in 1993. Among the conditions under which FRM assumed control was the requirement that Aboriginal people be involved in the governance of the College, and at least half of the Indigenous Steering Committee consist of representation from Aboriginal communities.
In 1993 Yirara College officially became an non-government provider of education.
The College's name was changed to YIrara College of the Finke River Mission Inc. to reflect that it now operates under the auspices of the Lutheran Church of Australia.
The College continues to value support from the Lutheran Church and the from the Aboriginal families both in and beyond the Northern Territory.
For more information on Lutheran Education: Lutheran Education Australia
Newspaper Clipping 1976
Yirara College 1977 - with the original Chapel to the right.
Yirara College 1977 - Over looking M - N - O dorms and the girls volley ball court.