In addition to universal supports available through the Directorate, several Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student-specific programs and initiatives 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 and beyond school.
The Student Aspirations Program includes:
The Education Directorate administers two scholarship programs specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in ACT public schools, totalling $155,000.
- The Secondary Scholarship Program for students in years 11 and 12 interested in a career in teaching, health or undertaking vocational qualification.
- The Tertiary Scholarship Program is for students enrolled in teaching or an approved health course at an ACT university.
These scholarships assist students with the costs associated with their studies.
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 work experience and future employment awareness raising 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. At the events, participants have had the opportunity to engage with staff from a broad range of occupations and learnt about different pathways into training and employment.
Planning is currently underway for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Forum. Schools will be asked to nominate students in years 5 to 12 to discuss the impact of Cultural Integrity in their schools, what is working well and what the Education Directorate can build on. One session will also focus specifically on attendance and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students; what barriers to engagement are 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 Program Officer on 02 6207 4782.
The ACT Directorate’s Koori Preschool Program provides 3-5 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.