Notre Dame and Clontarf partnership gains Royal recognition

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 17-11-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Stories of family life in outback Western Australia were shared with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II when she met with students at Clontarf Aboriginal College as part of her recent visit to Perth for the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Clontarf was one of the few locations Her Majesty visited in Western Australia. While at the College, the Queen officially opened the new boarding facility, viewed the College’s Literacy and Home Economics centres and watched games of Australian Rules Football and Netball.

The visit also gave Education students from The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Fremantle Campus the chance to meet the Queen.

Lauren Downing, Kate Durkin and Patricia Owen are tutoring Clontarf students as part of the literacy program initiated in 2010.

The program, a collaboration between Notre Dame and Clontarf, enables Notre Dame students to combine service learning, literacy teaching and learning related to Indigenous culture and education in one setting.

Miss Downing said Her Majesty took a particular interest in the Clontarf students’ story books which told their story of family life in remote WA.

“Meeting Queen Elizabeth II was even better than I expected,” Miss Downing said.

“She was actively engaging with the students and wanted to know what they were learning about through the literacy program.”

Describing the occasion as “something out of the ordinary”, Miss Durkin said she felt privileged to have met the Queen and to have demonstrated the value of the Notre Dame/Clontarf partnership.

“This is a really important program not only for the Clontarf students but also for us,” Miss Durkin said.

“It gives us the chance to gain strong communication skills therefore improving our ability to work in a school environment. And, it has given us the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the Queen!” MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Ebbs, Tel (08) 9433 0569, Mob 0408 959 138 Leigh Dawson, Tel (08) 9433 0569, Mob 0405 441 093