Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 6 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1976..
Document incorporated by the Minister for Education and Training
Mr Speaker, I am pleased to present the Ninth Report on Performance in Indigenous Education. In presenting this report I would like to begin by acknowledging the country we are meeting on - the lands of the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners. I respect their continuing culture and the unique contribution they make to the life of this area.
Regular reporting on this important issue was initiated in 2000, with a total of nine biannual reports now having been tabled. This report covers the period from 1 March to 31 August 2004.
The Stanhope Government continues to demonstrate its commitment to public reporting on Indigenous Education in ACT Government schools. At the centre of this commitment is a determination to improve outcomes for Indigenous children and young people through the implementation of the Social Plan and, in the education sector, the Within Reach of Us All, Services to Indigenous People Action Plan 2002-2004. This Plan supports the Stanhope Government's vision that all people reach their potential, make a contribution and share the benefits of our society. We continue to work towards addressing disadvantage and social exclusion, and are making gains over time with Indigenous children, young people and their families.
This report is set against the four commitments in the Services to Indigenous People Action Plan 2002 - 2004. The major commitments of this plan centre on valuing diversity, forming community partnerships, creating culturally inclusive environments, and improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students. Mr Speaker, I would like to draw to the attention of Members, several significant points in relation to these commitments.
In the six-month period covered by this report, the number of Indigenous employees in the Department of Education and Training increased from 35 to 46, including principal level positions.
Indigenous Home School Liaison Officers reached the final stages of study towards the Certificate IV in Community Studies during this reporting period. These officers have responsibility for a range of sensitive issues and are key players in connecting schools with the families of our Indigenous students. The studies they are undertaking are building their personal capacity and record of achievements, and will further assist in their work within the community.
The department also made significant progress in forming genuine and ongoing partnerships with Indigenous communities. Staff of the Department of Education and Training and other government agencies have held discussions with the Ngunnawal Country Indigenous Women's Circle Meeting, and involvement with this group will be ongoing. This venture strengthens links between government agencies and the wider local Indigenous community.
Additionally, staff across a range of areas within the Department of Education and Training have worked hard at developing new, and strengthening existing links with