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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1188 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

In human resource management, we have increased the number of indigenous staff in education. Four indigenous teachers were offered employment in 2000, which exceeded the actual target of three. We have continued our emphasis on providing indigenous perspectives in training programs for all teachers. Principals attended the indigenous forum held in August 2000, where the importance of leadership by principals in ensuring indigenous cultural inclusivity was emphasised, as was the importance of principals becoming part of the indigenous compact.

It is clear that this government is committed to improving outcomes for indigenous students. We are accessing the first-hand knowledge of the indigenous community to determine its needs. Every effort is being made to achieve improved educational outcomes for our indigenous students. The issue is complex and it will take time to resolve. The progress report I have tabled today shows that the full range of skills, expertise and knowledge available to the government is being directed to the task.

I would like to advise members that after discussion with my colleague Mr Moore, who now has responsibility for Children's, Youth and Family Services, agreement has been reached that the next report and subsequent reports will cover the full responsibilities of the Department of Education and Community Services.

I am pleased to see those results trending upwards with literacy and numeracy. I take the opportunity in closing to thank Mr Allan Hird, who will be leaving the department next week, for his efforts. He had a series of farewells earlier this week. I was not able to go to the one on Tuesday as we were sitting, but I was particularly delighted to hear that Allan was presented by the indigenous workers and Mr Chris Harris, a former deputy principal of Campbell who heads up our indigenous unit and who is himself an indigenous person, with a very fine didgeridoo in appreciation of his services. He has certainly been a driving force behind improvements in the department in recent times. I would like to put on the public record my appreciation of what he has done there and in other areas of the department and wish him well for the future. He has served us well.

Finally, I urge members to read the second six-monthly report of performance on indigenous education to the Assembly. I move:

That the report be noted.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wood ) adjourned to the next sitting.


MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise to speak with you in the chair. I can see that you have now achieved one of your ambitions-to get control of the chamber.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thank the member for his recognition of the chair.

MR MOORE: And quite appropriate recognition of the chair, I believe. I present the following papers:

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