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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1517..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

reinsurers in relation to losses in forests. The direction requires the Insurance Authority not to pay the settlement funds to ACT Forests without my written approval. The direction is to ensure that funds are released and applied as and when required. I commend the paper to the Assembly.

Indigenous education-seventh six-monthly report

Paper and statement by minister

MS GALLAGHER (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (3.31): Mr Speaker, for the information of members and in accordance with the resolution of the Assembly of 24 May 2000, I present the following report:

Indigenous Education-Seventh Six Monthly report to 31 August 2003.

I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MS GALLAGHER: I am very pleased to present the seventh report on performance in indigenous education. This report covers the period up until 31 August 2003. The Labor Party initiated this reporting in 2000 and six reports have been tabled since then. The government is continuing its commitment to improving educational outcomes for indigenous students. This commitment is even more vital when placed in the context of the Canberra social plan, which articulates the government's vision of all people reaching their potential, making a contribution and sharing the benefits of our society.

Of primary importance is the government's commitment to ensuring that the outcomes for indigenous students are similar to those for non-indigenous students. The increased liaison with families that is now occurring and the employment of more highly skilled staff to work with students are vital steps towards improving student outcomes. The government is maintaining its focus on the Within reach of us all: services to indigenous people action plan 2002-2004 and the four major areas of endeavour within this plan. Many programs, activities, learning experiences and initiatives are being provided to ensure that commitments can be achieved. It is clear that the focus in this area is bearing fruit, yet it is recognised that still more needs to be done.

There are many examples in this report that show how schools and their communities are working to improve outcomes for indigenous students. Government assistance and a range of support structures, which facilitate working with students, their families and communities, are proving fundamental to achieving improved outcomes for indigenous young people.

You will be pleased when you read in the report of the many and varied activities taking place in schools. These activities acknowledge indigenous cultures, value their heritage and instil knowledge across the whole student population. You can read the full text of an indigenous child's cultural acknowledgment at a Wanniassa Hills Primary School assembly, when the student told the audience:

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