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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (14 November) . . Page.. 3456..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

range of commercial, industrial, community and aged care activities, and approximately 61 hectares were direct granted to other government agencies.

Indigenous education

Paper and statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo-Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Industrial Relations): For the information of members and in accordance with the resolution of the Assembly of 24 May 2006, as amended on 16 February 2006, I present the following paper:

Indigenous Education-Half yearly report-January to June 2006.

I ask for leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: This report covers the period January to June 2006. Many of the key indicators that we use to measure indigenous students' progress, such as literacy and numeracy outcomes, have not been finalised for 2006. Therefore, this report does not contain the detail that will be provided in the annual report covering the full 2006 school year. Nonetheless, there have been some pleasing developments in a few areas.

Mr Speaker, previous reports to the Assembly on performance in indigenous education have provided information about the on track program. This program was originally trialled as the Birrigai boys program in 2004. Through a grant from the community inclusion fund, the program was expanded and continued in 2005 as the on track program. The program is aimed at improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary school students in the areas of attendance, behaviour, self-identity, literacy and numeracy.

In 2006 there has been a further expansion of this program to include indigenous female students, and 19 students benefited from this program in the first six months of 2006. Another 15 indigenous female students from five north side high schools attended a leadership camp organised by year 10 indigenous students from Melba high school. The camp provided an opportunity for students to celebrate their culture and to learn from the elders who attended.

Opportunities for all ACT students to learn about and understand indigenous culture occurred through celebrations of National Sorry Day and NAIDOC Week and a new after-school program for indigenous students, managed in partnership between the Department of Education and Training and the Australian Catholic University, commenced. Participating students learn about aspects of their culture as well as enhancing skills in literacy and numeracy.

Mr Speaker, I believe these programs demonstrate the commitment of the government to improving outcomes for our indigenous students. Significantly, these programs focus not only on improving literacy and numeracy skills but also on the development of knowledge and pride in their rich cultural heritage. I commend this report to the

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