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Elders to guide education for Aboriginal kids

WA Education and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier announced a new initiative aimed at improving the wellbeing and learning outcomes for Aboriginal students in public schools.

Mr Collier has appointed Professor Colleen Hayward AM and Ian Trust as Elders in Residence to help build stronger relationships with Aboriginal communities and families.

“We cannot look only within schools for solutions – we have seen this clearly in Kalgoorlie – and that is why the Government is establishing this initiative,” he said.

“Professor Hayward and Mr Trust will provide advice on public schooling for Aboriginal students, and help schools to gain a greater appreciation of cultural influences on learning.”

Professor Hayward and Mr Trust will also:

  • Visit schools across WA to help build stronger partnerships with local Aboriginal people
  • Contribute to staff development by providing input into professional learning
  • Lead consultations between schools and communities to help break down barriers.

Assistant Professor Paulina Motlop from The University of Western Australia has also been appointed to lead a new area in the Department of Education to focus on teaching and learning for Aboriginal students.

“As a respected educator herself, Professor Motlop will bring her expertise to how teachers can best teach Aboriginal students,” the Minister said.

“I believe this new approach will help us reduce the education achievement gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.”

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