Our approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education is strengths based with a focus on cultural integrity. We are committed to meeting the needs and aspirations of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
In addition to universal supports available through the Directorate, several Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student-specific programs are in place to support students.
Student Aspirations Program
The Student Aspirations Program promotes participation in leadership opportunities and supports the retention and attainment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, focusing on pathways and transitions between schools, stages of schooling and beyond.
The Student Aspirations Program includes:
- Mura Awards
- Student Aspirations Years 5 and 6 Leadership Day
- Broaden Your Horizons
- Student Forum
The Education Directorate administers two scholarship programs specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students:
- The Secondary Scholarship Program for students in years 11 and 12 supports student retention and year 12 completion by providing recipients with financial support in their final years of secondary study.
- The Tertiary Scholarship Program is for students enrolled in teaching or an approved health course at an ACT university.
The Mura Awards initiative recognises student achievement and provides an opportunity for schools to acknowledge the consistent effort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in their schooling and to engage with families and the local community. The small bursaries attached to the Mura Awards encourages participation in education by providing some financial assistance for educational expenses such as excursions and uniforms.
Student Aspirations Years 5 and 6 Leadership Day
The Student Aspirations Years 5 and 6 Leadership Day is an annual event for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and a non-Indigenous friend. Students participate in leadership and team building activities and learn about local Aboriginal history and culture. Participants are nominated by their schools based on leadership potential and educational achievement.
Broaden Your Horizons
Broaden Your Horizons is an annual career education event for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in years 9 to 12. To date, events have been held at the Supreme Court and the National Museum of Australia. Broaden Your Horizons provide participants with opportunities to engage with staff from a broad range of occupations and professions and to learn about different pathways into training and employment.
The inaugural annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Forum was held in 2019. The forum is open to students in year 5 to 12 who are nominated by their schools. The forum gives students the opportunity to discuss the impact of Cultural Integrity in their schools, what is working well and what the Education Directorate can build on.
One session focuses specifically on attendance and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, the barriers to engagement faced by students and families, and how the Education Directorate can remove these barriers.
For more information on the Student Aspirations Program, please contact the Senior Programs Officer on 02 6207 4782.
The ACT Directorate’s Koori Preschool Program provides 3 to 5-year-old children with rich, play-based experiences aligned with the Early Years Learning Framework, in a culturally safe environment that includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives across the curriculum.