Voice, leadership, agency: New First Nations led program aims to rethink education
A partnership between six First Nations led organisations and the Paul Ramsay Foundation will use a dynamic approach to address the systemic challenges that First Nations children face in education spaces, beginning with the early years, supported by more than $19m in combined funding for program partners.
While each project under the partnership program brings its unique focus, they are all centered around the same ethos: enabling more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to grow strong in their culture and reach their academic potential.
Ray Ingrey, a Dharawal person and Chairperson of the Gujaga Foundation, said early connection to language and culture is key for children’s lifelong success. The program funding provided through this partnership will be supporting the Gujaga Foundation to further develop the Dharawal Language Program delivery in childcare centres and schools in Eastern, Southern, South-West and the Inner West of Sydney.
“We know that when our young ones grow up with a solid cultural foundation, they become strong with who they are and where they belong. It will put them on the right path in achieving any goal they set in the future,” Mr Ingrey said.
Other programs in the partnership, which focus on education from primary school through to young adulthood include:
- Aurora Education Foundation
- Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation
- Culturally Nourishing Schools Project (at UNSW)
- National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition
- NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.
The program, Professor Glyn Davis AC, CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation said, is a vital step in the Foundation’s commitment to improving education outcomes.
“The program has been designed with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners to support Indigenous cultures, knowledge and ways of learning. Each of the program partners is unique in their project approach, coming together as a collective to learn with each other and with us. As a group, we are united in our long-term ambition for change, with a common belief that growing strong in culture and being excellent academically are mutually reinforcing.”
The Learning Lives Strengthened in Culture program is the first complementary set of partnerships in Indigenous education by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, delivering significant multi-year support to program partners. The design and development of the funding program was based on scoping work which involved reviewing the existing evidence base as well as conducting over 30 interviews with key stakeholders.
Program evaluation will help to identify and refine a theory of change for long term impact to enhance education outcomes, identifying opportunities to share lessons and contribute to long term change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
To learn more about the program please see here.
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