Latest news

Don't miss NAIDOC Family Fun Day on 7 July

The Department of Education and Training will once again host a marquee at the NAIDOC Family Fun Day on Friday 7 July at Musgrave Park, West End. The marquee will showcase some of the department’s key initiatives, such as Solid Pathways and Every day counts, as well as provide valuable information on training and skills, and human resources opportunities.

NAIDOC Family Fun Day is part of NAIDOC Week, held across Australia from 2–9 July to honour and acknowledge the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week is celebrated not only in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, but by Australians from all walks of life.

NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and support local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This year’s theme is Our languages matter.

To find out more and get involved, visit the NAIDOC Week and the NAIDOC Family Fun Day websites. 

Continuing improvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 12 outcomes

The 2016 Year 12 Outcomes Report released by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) highlights that a record 97.0 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander state school students achieved either a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or a Queensland Certificate of Individual Attainment (QCIA), narrowing the gap to less than one per cent for the first time ever.

There is still more work to do in Closing the Gap in educational outcomes, especially in the areas of Year 12 completion and the attainment of Overall Position 1 to 15 or Certificate II or higher, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are under-represented.

Nominations now open for 2017 Peter Doherty Awards

The department has produced new resources to encourage students to turn up to school – every day.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander senior secondary students could be in the running for a $5000 award in the 2017 Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education.

Now in their 14th year, the Peter Doherty Awards recognise students, teachers, schools (both state and non-state), volunteers, mentors and organisations that demonstrate an outstanding and innovative contribution to STEM education in Queensland.

STEM subjects are increasingly recognised as being vitally important for Queenslanders’ jobs of the future.

Awards of $5000 are on offer across the six following categories.

  • Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Senior STEM Student Awards
  • Outstanding Senior STEM Student Awards
  • Outstanding Teacher of STEM Awards
  • Outstanding STEM Support Officer Awards
  • STEM Education Partnership Awards
  • Outstanding School STEM Awards

Nominations close COB Wednesday 19 April, with winners to be announced at an awards presentation ceremony to be held on 11 August.

Education champion acknowledged for service

After nearly three decades of educating and caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA), Reverend Mary Eseli has retired.

A special ceremony was held on 17 November at the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council, in recognition of Mary's dedicated service from 1985 to 2016.

Although her education career has encompassed classes throughout the primary school years, as well as teaching Cultural Studies and Tradition Indigenous language, Mary's primary focus has been on early childhood. Most recently, Mary taught the pre-Prep program at the Reverend Canon Francis Bowie Early Learning Centre, part of the Northern Peninsula Area College's Injinoo campus.

Her contribution to the Cape York community has been enormous. Mary has been a strong advocate for education; a source of great support for students and their families; a voice for the community, Elders and NPA campus; and a respected individual regarding cultural protocols and practice.

Mary's teaching qualifications and experience were greatly assisted by her participation in RATEP - a teacher education support program designed to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students undertake higher education study.

NPA Head of Campus Gaye Lovelock said Mary was a passionate believer in the importance of education and the Cape York community has greatly benefited from her dynamism and commitment.

"Mary will be sadly missed for her wisdom, patience, kindness and infinite advocacy for children," Gaye said.

Committed to education … Assistant Director-General State Schools-Indigenous Education Selwyn Button congratulates Mary Eseli
Committed to education...Assistant Director-General State Schools-Indigenous Education Selwyn Button congratulates Mary Eseli on her impressive teaching career.

Increased teaching opportunities for Indigenous senior students

TAFE Certificate III in Education will be available to Indigenous students in Years 11 and 12 in 2017. Regardless of where they live, next year Indigenous senior school students can enrol in a Certificate III in Education course through TAFE Queensland North. Students who complete the course can earn eight points towards their QCE. For applications and enquiries about RATEP, contact Leigh Payne on (07) 4120 9365 or email: lpayn55@eq.edu.au. Please also view the Certificate III information sheet (PDF, 166KB) and 2017 Certificate III flyer (PDF, 414KB) for more details.

Constitutional Convention for Indigenous students a great success

Congratulations to the more than 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary school students who attended the South East Queensland Schools Constitutional Convention (QSCC) last Tuesday (4 October) at Parliament House in Brisbane. Students from 20 schools presented speeches on 'A treaty with Australia's First Nations Peoples and/or constitutional recognition of Australia's First Nations Peoples'.

The convention provides senior secondary students from state and non-state schools with a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the Australian Constitution and how it guides democracy.

Students also voted the four delegates who will represent Queensland at the National Schools Constitutional Convention (NSCC), held in Canberra in March 2017.

Queensland's elected delegates are:

  • Calla Adams - Merrimac State High School
  • Taylah Little - Everton Park State High School
  • Frazer Roberts - John Paul College
  • Ceferina Villarin - Wavell State High School

The Department of Education and Training has coordinated the annual state-wide cross-sectoral Schools Constitutional Convention since 1995 for senior secondary students of Humanities and the Social Sciences, and Legal Studies.

Since 2005, the department has coordinated QSCC specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to enhance civics education and leadership opportunities in democratic processes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This year, State Schools – Indigenous Education Assistant Director-General Selwyn Button delivered a keynote speech regarding Indigenous participation in Parliament and key points relevant to the convention topic.

Thanks to the teachers and schools who participated in this worthwhile event.

Participating schools:

  • Aldridge State High School
  • Bribie Island State High School
  • Bundaberg State High School
  • Capalaba State College
  • Cleveland District State High School
  • Everton Park State High School
  • John Paul College
  • Marist College Ashgrove
  • Maroochydore State High School
  • Marsden State High School
  • Maryborough State High School
  • Merrimac State High School
  • Redbank Plains State High School
  • Silkwood Independent School
  • Springwood State High School
  • St Patrick's College, Shorncliffe
  • Tullawong State High School
  • Urangan State High School
  • Victoria Point State High School
  • Wavell State High School

Elected students

Apply now: leadership opportunities for Indigenous students

Schools can make a positive difference in empowering Indigenous students through the Indigenous Student Ambassador Network (ISAN).

Applications are now open for Year 10 students to apply to be an Indigenous Student Ambassador. The closing date for applications is 10 August 2016.

This is a unique opportunity for schools to constructively impact on Indigenous students' engagement, achievement and retention. Having Indigenous Student Ambassadors as part of your Student Council will foster the leadership aspirations of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, cultivate a sense of belonging, strengthen student identity and culture and promote strategies that will assist in the embedding of Indigenous perspectives in your school.

In addition to developing leadership skills through the planning and delivery of school-based activities, Indigenous Student Ambassadors will have the opportunity to participate in statewide learning/leadership opportunities that will continue to enhance and develop their leadership skills.

Schools should have received ISAN information and a nomination form for students. If you have not received this, please email Chris Day (chris.day@det.qld.gov.au).

Read the frequently asked questions for more information on the program.

Deadly new resources encourage school attendance

The department has produced new resources to encourage students to turn up to school – every day.

While there has been improvement in school attendance for all Queensland state school students, there is great potential to improve the rates for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

For this reason, the Every day counts campaign is targeted specifically to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The campaign features some of your favourite Indigenous footy players, including Johnathan Thurston, Sam Thaiday and Greg Inglis, in animations, a comic book, posters and a dedicated website.

We know higher school attendance leads to more positive student outcomes, so let’s help motivate students to turn up to school every day.

Thanks to those Solid Pathways students who provided their input into the campaign.

Visit the Every day counts website to view the deadly new resources. 

Your free Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resource

Did you know the Dandiiri Schools and Community Library in Brisbane serves schools all around Queensland?

Dandiiri Library is a valuable, state-wide resource reflecting all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history.

Schools can access fiction and non-fiction books, DVDs, puzzles, puppets, toys, kits, artefacts and teacher reference materials, all with an Indigenous focus.

The library’s knowledgeable staff can help teachers embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives across the curriculum in authentic and meaningful ways. Dandiiri is also an excellent source of materials on topics such as Reconciliation, the Stolen Generation, Native Title and NAIDOC week.

Membership for schools and teachers is free. Visit the Dandiiri Library page for more information

Indigenous Education Conference a great success

More than 200 educators from around the state gathered in Brisbane to attend the Indigenous Education Conference on 4 July.

The day provided an opportunity for principals, teachers and student support staff to share success stories, ideas and projects that have proved effective in their school environment.

Some of the key takeaways were the need to individualise learning; build relationships; focus on attainment, transitions and attendance; meet the needs of EAL/D learners; support quality teaching and leadership; and support student cultural identity.

Videos of the sessions will be available for viewing.

Thanks to the Teachers Health Fund for their support in presenting the conference.

Teachers Health Fund

NAIDOC Family Fun Day

The Department of Education and Training will have a stand at the NAIDOC Family Fun Day on Friday 8 July at Musgrave Park, West End. is held across Australia from 3-10 July to honour and acknowledge the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC Week is held across Australia from 3-10 July to honour and acknowledge the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. NAIDOC is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and support local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This year’s theme is Songlines: The living narrative of our nation.

Visit the NAIDOC site for more information.

Indigenous Education Conference 2016

The Department of Education and Training (DET) Indigenous Education Conference 2016 will be a one-day forum held on Monday 4 July at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane.

This event will attract up to 400 delegates from across Queensland, including principals and teachers from Queensland state schools with high Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolments, as well as staff from central and regional offices.

The Hon Kate Jones MP, Minister for Education, will feature as keynote speaker, alongside other guest speakers including Director-General Dr Jim Watterston, Indigenous educators and community representatives.

This event will provide attendees the opportunity to discuss the challenges associated with successful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learning outcomes, and showcase work being undertaken across Queensland.

To register for the conference, book online.

Don't miss One Mob to CGEN - screening 17 April on NITV

The department is a key sponsor of an inspiring new documentary One Mob to CGEN, which showcases the journey of 56 South East Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander state school student dancers as they prepare to perform in Creative Generation (CGEN) 2015 as part of Bangarra Dance Theatre's Rekindling program.

Bangarra's Rekindling program encourages a cultural connection with school learning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students to promote school attendance and post-school careers.

One Mob to CGEN screens on NITV on 17 April at 7.30pm directly after Our Spirit - Connecting Culture to learning, a documentary which featured Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander state school students who took part in CGEN 2014.

Tell your family and friends.

  • 7pm Our Spirit - Connecting Culture to learning
  • 7.30pm One Mob to CGEN.

Tickets are now available for this year's CGEN through Ticketek.

Both documentaries were produced by Bacon Factory Films, a production company that specialises in Indigenous film-making.

Nominations now open for 2016 Peter Doherty Awards

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander senior secondary students could be in the running for a $5000 award in the 2016 Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education.

Now in their 13th year, the Peter Doherty Awards recognise students, teachers, schools (both state and non-state), volunteers, mentors and organisations who demonstrate an outstanding and innovative contribution to STEM education in Queensland.

STEM subjects are increasingly recognised as being vitally important for Queensland's jobs of the future.

Awards of $5000 are on offer across the six following categories:

  • Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Senior STEM Student Awards
  • Outstanding Senior STEM Student Awards
  • Outstanding Teacher of STEM Awards
  • Outstanding STEM Support Officer Awards
  • STEM Education Partnership Awards
  • Outstanding School STEM Awards.

Nominations close Monday 21 March, with winners to be announced at an awards presentation ceremony to be held on Friday 12 August.

Subsidised Cert lV education course now available

Greater access and subsidies to RATEP's Certificate IV in Education course (PDF, 332KB) is now offered to Indigenous DET school personnel. The program is particularly designed for quality Teacher Assistants (TAs) or aides, who are recommended by their principal for further study and are living and working in a location that does not have access to a current RATEP site.

This off-site program allows students to study in any Queensland community where there is no RATEP site. Students will be supported by phone, email, online e-sessions and via other study components by the off-site Teacher Coordinator, who is based in Maryborough.

Indigenous teacher education reaches 25 year milestone

This year RATEP celebrates 25 years of supporting greater access to higher education for Indigenous people, as well as increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers in Queensland schools.

Achievements over 25 years include:

  • More than 1000 students have graduated with a VET qualification in Education (ATSI)
  • 160 have graduated with a Bachelor of Education, including seven who have undertaken leadership positions in state schools.

In 2015:

143 students in total:

  • 38 Certificate III students. The course is studied as part of the school curriculum and on successful completion, 8 QCE points are awarded
  • 36 Certificate IV students
  • 34 Diploma students
  • 35 JCU students, with 5 final year students graduating, one with a Masters in Education
  • Six students studying through the RATEP model were successful recipients of the Pearl Duncan Teaching Scholarships, awarded in April 2015.

Program a first for Qld and a boost to Indigenous students

Education and Training Minister Kate Jones has announced the department's newly formed partnership with the Clontarf Foundation, which delivers programs that encourage and support regular school attendance by Indigenous male students.

Clontarf Academies focus on improving the education, discipline, self-esteem, life skills and employment prospects of young Indigenous men.

Nearly 500 Indigenous male state high school students from the Darling Downs South West region are set to benefit from this program.

The Clontarf Foundation is well-established in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Victoria and New South Wales.

Leadership opportunities for Indigenous students

Schools can make a positive difference in empowering Indigenous students through the Indigenous Student Ambassador Network (ISAN).

This is a unique opportunity for schools to constructively impact on Indigenous students' engagement, achievement and retention.

Participation in ISAN fosters leadership aspirations in Indigenous students, cultivates a sense of belonging, strengthens their identity and culture—creating positive engagement in learning.

Schools should have received ISAN information and a nomination form for students. If you have not received, please email Ivana Waddington. Nominations close 14 September 2015.

Read the frequently asked questions for more information on the program.

 

 Related information

 

​Over the last 25 years Ratep have produced many success stories.

 Justin Washington

Last updated
23 June 2017