Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Education

Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes acknowledges and pays respect to the traditional custodians, past and present of this land of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Western NSW. We continue to pay our respects to both present and past elders and the custodians of this land. We also acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in our community and acknowledge their deep physical and spiritual connections to the land, skies and waterways.

Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes census data indicates that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students make up 18% of our enrolment. Our Diocese is committed to practices having the greatest impact on improving learning outcomes and opportunities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through:

  • high quality teaching and school leadership
  • systematic student and teacher assessment, monitoring & feedback
  • personalised learning plans for students 
  • ongoing professional learning for staff
  • community partnership 

Catholic Education WIlcannia-Forbes has an extensive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategic Plan that assists in school improvement in a number of priorities areas including:

  1. Policy 
  2. Planning 
  3. Partnerships 
  4. Perspectives 
  5. Culture and Identity 
  6. Leadership, Quality Teaching and Aboriginal Workforce Development 
  7. Personalised Learning Plans 

Catholic Education Wilcannia-Forbes’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy 

guiding principles are closely aligned with those of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2015:

  • Achieve potential: High expectations are held for, and by, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people across the diocese.
  • Equity: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are able to access the same educational opportunities and achieve the same educational outcomes as other students.
  • Accountability: All schools and staff are accountable, transparent and responsive.
  • Relationships: Meaningful relationships value community, cultural knowledge, wisdom and expertise, demonstrate trust and respect, and provide a strategy to support culture and identity.
  • Partnerships: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are engaged in decision making, planning, delivery and evaluation of early childhood schooling and higher education services across the diocese.
  • Local approaches: Educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are accelerated through local approaches in our rural and remote communities.
  • Quality: Policies, practices, programs and partnerships are inclusive of the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and their families, and are informed by knowledge, evidence and research.
  • Access to employment: The CEO and all schools remain committed to increasing employment and promotional opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Research and experience consistently reinforce the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students perform better where there are close connections between the school and the local community. We recognise and adopt three key actions: 

1. Connect, listen and relate to community 

2. Nurture a safe, supportive and enjoyable school climate 

3. Provide the highest quality instruction to students

[ LINKS ]

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council of Catholic School Parents

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSIC)  

Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country National Aboriginal and Torres Strait lslander Catholic Commission Version   

Stronger and Smarter Institute

NAIDOC

Reconciliation Australia

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Aboriginal Australia Full Map