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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 June 2018) . . Page.. 2134 ..


muscle we must exercise. Our schooling system must evolve to enable this type of creative and analytical strength for students.

It is therefore incredibly important that our education system offers the building blocks upon which children can learn to problem solve. This is why we are focused on students participating in STEM—also known as science, technology, engineering and mathematics—subjects. Along with STEM, there must be a focus on creativity. Giralang Primary School is a fantastic example of a school in my electorate offering a STEAM academy, with the “A” standing for architecture. This addition recognises the need for students to be provided with the capacity to develop their skills in a more creative way, in this case through design. That is why the 2018-19 budget will invest $5.6 million to establish a future skills academy that will support Canberra students to build their competency in STEM, preparing them for the jobs of the future.

I would like to echo the views put forward by the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development when it comes to the future of education in the ACT. The future of education consultation considers themes such as individualised learning, real-life skills, and opportunities and pathways for all, as well as collaboration and support to meet individual need.

In our current transition, we cannot simply assume a child will fit the box we design for them in our education system. We must do everything we can to tailor schooling to the needs of each and every student as best we can. The future of education consultation is working towards this goal, with the 2018-19 budget investing $2.9 million to progress measures that have arisen from the community conversation.

In all of this, we can never forget the role our teachers play in supporting and enriching the development of our children. We should always seek to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions our educators make in their profession and to the community more broadly.

Our teachers play an important role in supporting our inclusive culture. Joe Chapman-Freeman was recognised for the Australian Education Union ACT branch reconciliation award this year. Joe was recognised for going well beyond what was expected in his role as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education officer working closely with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at his school. Joe has implemented coordinated strategies involving the students, their families, and teaching staff. He is a strong advocate for his students, supporting their involvement in class with additional tutorials and personalised pathways. Joe has worked with teachers from the school to increase their cultural competencies as well as empowering cultural identity within Aboriginal and Indigenous students.

Joe takes a team of high school students to visit local primary schools on three mornings a week. They deliver breakfast clubs and literacy mentoring programs to at-risk primary school students. Over the last four years, Joe has worked closely with the directorate to deliver territory-wide sporting competitions involving all sectors of the school system. He has also created links to schools in Sydney to host interschool activities.


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