Education Minister launches Indigenous Action Plan during Mornington Island visit

by Freya Lucas

October 31, 2019

Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace has mapped out the next steps to improving early childhood and schooling outcomes for Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children during a visit to Mornington Island State School.


The Advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan builds on what Ms Grace termed “the solid foundations” Queensland has already made towards closing the gap.


Mornington Island, located in the Gulf of Carpentaria, was chosen for the launch as 97 per cent of children at the school identify as a First Nations person, Ms Grace said, before reiterating the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to ensuring the delivery of a quality education and providing a great start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.


The plan, she said, was “a significant step in the right direction” with implementation “well underway”.


The plan centres on five priority areas: making a great start; reaching learning potential; equipped for the future; building capability; and engaging partners, and aims to:


–   improve kindergarten participation;

–   lift school education outcomes;

–   develop culturally appropriate teaching and learning resources; and, 

–   provide professional development opportunities for staff.


Ms Grace said the action plan was informed by state-wide consultations, and conversations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and other key stakeholders.


“Consultation involved targeted sessions with early childhood, schooling and training stakeholders, regional forums across Queensland, discussions with the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Training Advisory Committee (QATSIETAC), and an online submission process,” she said.


More than 220 individuals and 71 organisations were engaged during the consultation process, with the plan targeting resources to lift the reading and numeracy outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander state school students in the early years (Prep to Year 3), and including initiatives that promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander excellence and achievement in STEM.


“While Queensland has achieved significant progress in closing the gap, we know we still have a long way to go,” Ms Grace said, adding that the important initiatives included in the plan “will help us deliver a better and brighter future for Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students”.


For more information please visit the Indigenous Portal, here.