Minister Presents Awards In Aboriginal Education

Minister Presents Awards In Aboriginal Education

Western Australia Minister for Education Elizabeth Constable

Awards Put The Gloss On Aboriginal Education

Victor P Taffa

A program that has halved suspensions of Aboriginal female secondary students has won the prestigious Milton Thorne Award at the 2011 WA Aboriginal Education Awards.

The Shine program sees year 8 and 9 student’s work with aged care residents; women’s health workers and WA Police; and as part of a fully-functioning hair salon based at John Willcock College in Geraldton.

Presenting the awards today, Education Minister Liz Constable said the program had made a real difference to students deemed to be at extreme educational risk.

Dr. Constable said the WA Aboriginal Education Awards recognised the best public school teachers, educators and leaders working with Aboriginal students across the State.

Other award winners include:

  • WA Outstanding Leader in Aboriginal Education – Michael Henderson from Mt. Magnet District High School
  • WA Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Aboriginal Education – Freyja Lucas from Tom Price Primary School
  • Ben Drayton Award for WA Outstanding Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer – Melanie Pearmine from Clayton View Primary School
  • WA Aboriginal Education and Training Council Award – Mitchell Drage from Nullagine Primary School.

The Minister said Shine had given Aboriginal girls in years 8 and 9 an introduction to training and the workforce through participation in a vibrant, modern and well-equipped hair salon.

“The program has close, strong links with the Aboriginal community and helps get the students ‘ready’ for the workforce.” Dr. Constable said.

Dr. Constable said 2011 would also see Western Australia represented at the new Australian Awards for Outstanding Teaching and School Leadership.

“I am pleased to announce that Freyja Lucas from Tom Price Primary School is the WA public education nominee for the Australian Minister for Education’s Award for Excellence in Teaching or Leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education.” Dr. Constable said.

“Freyja a Year 3 teacher has worked extremely hard to reverse the downward trend in literacy and numeracy results of students in her classroom, which has had a positive effect on the school.”

The Minister said the quality of the nominations received for the awards demonstrated the commitment and dedication to Aboriginal education throughout public schools in WA.