06 September 2017

It starts with education – creating brighter futures for our youth

Author :
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities remain disadvantaged in several areas, with one of the main components being education. 

Earlier this year; the ninth Closing the Gap report showed that little progress has been made over the years.

The school attendance rate has dropped marginally from 83.5 per cent in 2014 to 83.4 per cent in 2016, whilst the goal to halve the gap in literacy and numeracy skills remain far off track.

The number of Indigenous 20-24 year-olds having achieved Year 12 or equivalent increased from 45.4 per cent in 2008 to 61.5 per cent in 2014-15. However, the poor educational outcomes see a high unemployment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as well as a range of social issues such as poverty and poor health.

Indigenous education is a crucial topic that requires and demands more attention, discussion and action. Leaders from across the country will gather in Darwin for the NationalIndigenous Education Forum on the 18th to the 20th of October to discuss strategies to enhance the quality and access of education to change the current situation.

Speakers include:

  • National leader Noel Pearson
  • Canadian First Nations leader Clément Chartier from the Métis National Council
  • Horowhenua College’s principal Grant Congdon from New Zealand
  • As well as national primary and tertiary education providers and government departments
During the three-day conference, speakers will share their stories and case studies on engaging communities, families and elders in the children’s education and improving student engagement to see higher attendances rates and better academic outcomes.

Speakers will also discuss methods to create culturally safe and stimulating learning environments, prepare students for transitions into higher education, employment and adulthood, and how to build cross-sector partnerships.

Whilst there remain significant gaps in educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths, the forum provides an important opportunity for collaboration as we join forces to solve this crisis.

Written by : Mimmie Wilhelmson

Mimmie grew up in Sweden and first came to Australia as a backpacker after high school. After travelling around the country for two years she returned to Europe and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism in London. But the longing for Australia and the sun became too strong. After having worked for some time in the media industry, Mimmie decided to make a change and swap the news for conferences. She now gets to do what she loves the most, meeting new people and keep learning about cultures and issues while producing conferences on current topics.

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