03 November 2017

Leaders gather to improve academic outcomes for Indigenous students - National Indigenous Education Forum 2017

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People from across Australia’s schools, Indigenous communities and government bodies gathered for the National Indigenous Education Forum on the 18th-20th of October.

During the three days, over 30 community leaders shared their stories and case studies on how to improve academic outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The Hon. Eva Lawler, Minister for Education in the NT opened day one of the conference with an overview of the NT government’s initiatives to support and improve the education sector in the NT. Delegates also heard Clément Chartier from Métis National Council in Canada share his story on his peoples’ battle in gaining recognition from the government.

Other presenters on day one also shared their stories on how to engage with communities, elders and families to see improved outcomes for students and emphasised the importance of ensuring the community is part of the decision making and is the driving force behind the education in the area.

Day two was opened by Selena Ubio, Member for Arnhem in the NT and Assistant Minister for Remote Education and Families as First teachers. Her energy and passion was infectious and gave attendees a great insight into what it’s like teaching in remote areas.

Another highly appreciated speaker on day two was Noel Pearson, founder of Cape York Partnership, who advocated for the importance of Indigenous independence and the need for Indigenous public schools.  Grant Congdon, Principal of the Horowhenua College in New Zealand, shared his story on how they’ve managed to see their Maori students excelling academically.

Other presenters shared case studies on how to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership, build cross-sector partnerships and support students during transitions into further education, employment and adulthood.

The forum enabled participants to network and share stories with others from the education sector and provided an empowering environment with new energy to keep up the work to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

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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