Indigenous Student Academic Achievement Network (ISAAN)

The Indigenous Student Academic Achievement Network (ISAAN) responds to the latest research about what works to inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to pursue tertiary studies and a review of the Indigenous Student Ambassador Network (ISAN) completed at end of 2017. In 2018, ISAAN will operate as a pilot in Metropolitan and Souoth East regions only.

ISAAN is an initiative for high performing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students attending Queensland state high schools and colleges. It is designed to encourage, enable and empower high performing Indigenous students throughout their final years of schooling - to ensure they achieve the results needed to pursue tertiary study (if they choose) and develop the dispositions, attributes and social capital needed for success.

Opportunities are also created to celebrate and foster cultural identity and leadership, and to forge an enduring network of high achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

ISAAN aims to increase the number and proportion of Indigenous students attaining OP 1-10 (or ATAR equivalent). It also aims to boost the number of students choosing and completing competitive university courses by assisting schools to provide personalised, evidence-based support, creating linkages with universities, extracurricular experiences and enduring networks.

Research has identified four elements that provide solid foundations for students to achieve success - both at school and throughout their tertiary education. The four success indicators include:

  1. educational and well-being case management to support academic achievement at school (including wrap-around support, academic tracking, mentoring and tutoring)
  2. early exposure, immersion and participation in university activities, events, workshops and courses
  3. participation in extracurricular and culturally affirming opportunities, events and camps
  4. involvement in an enduring network of like-minded peers where relationships are built, critical friends are sought, and support and advice given to enhance the educational outcomes of students.

The ISAAN initiative addresses all four of these success indicators to maximise the educational experiences of high achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students so they can reach their potential.

Eligible students

To be considered for the ISAAN pilot in 2018, students must:

  • identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person
  • be invited to participate* by a school principal
  • be a former participant of ISAN
  • attend a state school located in the Metropolitan or South East regions.

Invitations* are extended to students who have:

  • performed within the upper two bands of Year 9 NAPLAN Reading, Writing, and/or Numeracy
  • achieved an academic result of ‘A’ in Semester 1 Year 9 in Mathematics or English (for students who did not undertake Year 9 NAPLAN).

2018 ISAAN Calendar of events

  • 21 March: University experience day, University of Queensland, St Lucia.
  • 27-29 March: Year 10 ISAAN Induction & ‘CREATE’ course delivered by the University of Queensland’s Enhanced Studies Program and Critical Thinking Project, University of Queensland Moreton Bay Research Station, North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah).
  • 14 & 29 June: Year 11 QCS Booster Day, University of Queensland, St Lucia.
  • 15 & 22 June: Year 12 QCS Booster Day, University of Queensland, St Lucia.
  • 23-27 July: Year 11 & 12 ISAAN Leadership camp.
  • 17-21 September: University immersion day/s, University of Queensland, St Lucia.
  • 10 October: Queensland Schools Constitutional Convention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students, Parliament House, Brisbane.

Further information

For more information please email: or by telephone on (07) 3513 5807.

 Related information


“This experience has been amazing. I don't have any other word to describe it. Opening myself up to my Indigenous heritage was something I needed to do for myself; no one could have forced me to do it. I had to be ready to do it and it had to come from the heart...Finally. I want to be involved in my culture because when I look at it now, it's who I am. If I don’t have my Indigenous culture, then what do I have? I’d like to help other Indigenous students that may be hiding, to realise this too. I want them to know that their culture is special and that hiding from it doesn’t hurt anyone but themselves. It’s who they are, and they can't run away from it.”

ISAN ambassador Jada.

Last updated
22 June 2018