Minister Announces Initiative To Lift Learning Outcomes For Aboriginal Students

Minister Announces Initiative To Lift Learning Outcomes For Aboriginal Students

Western Australia Minister for Education and Aboriginal Affairs Peter Collier

Elders To Guide Education For Aboriginal Kids

Victor P Taffa

  • New Elders in Residence initiative for public education
  • Focus on teaching excellence for Aboriginal students

Education and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier today announced a new initiative aimed at improving the wellbeing and learning outcomes for Aboriginal students in public schools.

Mr. Collier has appointed Professor Colleen Hayward AM and Ian Trust as Elders in Residence to help build stronger relationships with Aboriginal communities and families.

“We cannot look only within schools for solutions we have seen this clearly in Kalgoorlie and that is why the Government is establishing this initiative.” Mr. Collier said.

“Professor Hayward and Mr. Trust will provide advice on public schooling for Aboriginal students, and help schools to gain a greater appreciation of cultural influences on learning.”

Professor Hayward and Mr. Trust will also:

  • Visit schools across WA to help build stronger partnerships with local Aboriginal people
  • Contribute to staff development by providing input into professional learning
  • Lead consultations between schools and communities to help break down barriers.

Assistant Professor Paulina Motlop from The University of Western Australia has also been appointed to lead a new area in the Department of Education to focus on teaching and learning for Aboriginal students.

“As a respected educator herself, Professor Motlop will bring her expertise to how teachers can best teach Aboriginal students.” Mr. Collier said.

“I believe this new approach will help us reduce the education achievement gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.”

Fact File

  • About one in 12 students (24,000 students) in public schools is Aboriginal
  • Professor Hayward is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Indigenous) and Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin, Centre for Indigenous Education and Research at Edith Cowan University
  • Trust is Chairman of the WA Aboriginal Advisory Council, Chairman of AARNJA Ltd, Deputy Chairman of the Kimberley Development Commission and Executive Chairman of Wunan Foundation
  • Professor Motlop is an Assistant Professor in the School of Indigenous Studies at The University of Western Australia