Page 3938 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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In the 2007 report on Indigenous education, I reported that the department was continuing to explore different ways to deliver support to Indigenous students in year 4 as well as to their teachers to build on those improvements already experienced. The government has made a significant commitment to improving the outcomes for Indigenous students, and it is important to note that, in comparison with other states and territories, the ACT is the clear leader. We are very hopeful that the strong focus we have made on supporting literacy and numeracy development in the early years of schooling will pay dividends. We also need to ensure that our Indigenous students attend regularly, are engaged with their schooling and make a successful transition to further study or work.

Indigenous education officers have played a very important role in advancing this approach; however, it is not their role alone. The department has commenced work with small clusters of schools to engage parents and caregivers of Indigenous students in developing priorities for Indigenous education at the local level. Initiatives such as the dare to leap program, where schools make a commitment to improving outcomes for Indigenous students, are included in this process.

The government will continue to work towards the goal of Indigenous students achieving the outcomes that are equitable with non-Indigenous students, and initiatives funded under the second appropriation bill in 2007 will support the delivery of existing or new programs for Indigenous students. A program of professional learning activities for school principals will be delivered each year commencing in 2008, and Indigenous students will be supported through high school and college under the Indigenous student aspirations program, which aims to articulate and facilitate education and career pathways for Indigenous students attending high school and college.

Indigenous education has been further supported in 2008 by the inclusion of a goal in the appraisal documents of every principal that is specific to improving learning outcomes for Indigenous students. Finally, we will continue to work in partnership with the Indigenous community to establish a reformed Indigenous education consultative body. I commend the 2008 interim report on performance in Indigenous education to the Assembly.

Retirement villages—review

Paper and statement by member

MS PORTER (Ginninderra): I seek leave to present a discussion paper relating to a review of retirement villages in the ACT, together with the accompanying relevant legislation and regulations.

Leave granted.

MS PORTER: I present the following paper:

Retirement villages in the ACT—Review—Discussion paper.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the discussion paper.

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