Every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student in Catholic schools in the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese will be supported to embrace their culture and identity, and to achieve personal excellence, through a commitment launched by the Catholic Education during National Reconciliation Week.
Director Ross Fox said the strategy is built on the belief that a child’s first teacher is the parent but that the child’s growth and future is the shared responsibility of the village – teachers, principals, and the whole school community.
“At Catholic Education we believe that a child’s background should not determine their educational success and our schools are very serious about achieving our vision for inclusive communities that deliver contemporary quality learning for every person,” Mr Fox said.
Catholic Education and school have already commenced implementation for more than 600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese from Wiradjuri in the north, south to Ngarigo and Yuin country.
Ngunnawal parent Selina Walker, and member of the Archdiocesan Catholic School Parents advisory group said the strategy had been developed in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents from school communities throughout the region.
“The thing I like most is that it focuses on an individual child’s learning and making sure that they are achieving their personal best, which will not only help their employment prospects, it will give them the confidence they need to make the life they want,” Ms Walker explained.
“A strong sense of culture and spiritual identity is very important to the mental health and wellbeing of our children and to their learning. The strengthening of Culture and identity is a pillar of this strategy which is tremendously important for our children.”
“Ultimately this strategy is about families and schools working together for the child,” Ms Walker said.
Ross Fox said while every community, culture, language and child may be different what remains the same is the vital role of education in their future success.
“It is our shared responsibility to work and walk with Elders and families to ensure our First Nations children have the knowledge, skills, faith and confidence needed to build a life they aspire to.”