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Nominate now for Indigenous STEM Awards

​​Our schools and teachers play an important role in encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to pursue STEM education and careers.

The Australia-wide Indigenous STEM Awards, run by CSIRO, recognise, reward and celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Schools, secondary students, teachers, mentors and other STEM professionals are encouraged to nominate for the Indigenous STEM Awards, with 12 awards on offer across seven categories. Applications close on 28 September 2018.

For more information on eligibility requirements and past winners visit the Indigenous STEM Awards​ website​.

High-achieving Indigenous students to gain invaluable camp experiences

This month is a big one for our Year 4 Solid Pathways students.

These high-achieving Indigenous students are off to develop their critical and creative thinking skills, as well as engage in cultural and environmental pursuits at five experience days being held in a range of locations including Numinbah Valley, Nudgee Beach, Amaroo, Moreton Bay and Pullenvale.

These experiences provide the students with unique educational opportunities. During the experiences they will engage in cultural activities that highlight the long and enduring knowledge and practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This includes participating in hands-on activities such as fire-starting, seed grinding and developing rock tools.
Students will also learn about the ecosystems and resources of the environment from a traditional perspective and learn how critical and creative thinking has led to environmentally sustainable land management practices.

One key component of the experiences is the chance to meet, connect and work collaboratively with other like-minded, high achieving Solid Pathways students, developing their capacity for teamwork, leadership and setting and achieving goals.

Nominations now open for 2018 Peter Doherty Awards

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander senior secondary students could be in the running for a $5000 award in the 2018 Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education.

Now in their 15th year, the Peter Doherty awards recognise students, teachers, schools (both state and non-state), volunteers, mentors and organisations that demonstrate an outstanding and innovative contribution to STEM education in Queensland.

STEM subjects are increasingly recognised as being vitally important for Queenslanders’ jobs of the future.

Awards of $5000 are on offer across the six following categories.

  • Outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Senior STEM Student Awards
  • Outstanding Senior STEM Student
  • Outstanding Teacher of STEM
  • Outstanding STEM Support Officer
  • STEM Education Partnership
  • Outstanding School of STEM.

Nominations close Monday 26 March 2018, with winners to be announced at an awards presentation ceremony to be held on 10 August 2018.

2017 Year 12 outcomes report highlights continuing improvements

The 2017 Year 12 outcomes report released by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) highlights outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander state school students continue to reflect the strong improvements achieved in recent years, revealing a five per cent increase of Indigenous students completing Year 12 in 2017 compared to last year.

A record 97.2 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander state school students achieved either a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA), indicating sustained improvement. The gap in Queensland certification continues to be less than one percentage point.

The report reveals that 63.8 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander state school students receiving a tertiary entrance rank Overall Position, achieved an OP1 to OP15 compared with 62.8 per cent in 2016.

The strongest improvement for Indigenous state school students between 2016 and 2017 was the percentage achieving OP 1–10. In 2017, 29.7 per cent of these students achieved an OP 1–10, an improvement of three percentage points since 2016.

Results indicate that continued effort is required to increase retention to Year 12 and to raise the level of attainment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Engaging and fun back to school resources

Remember: there are some great materials designed to encourage school attendance. The adventures of Jimmy and Sam the Dog animation and comic book features Sam Thaiday as Sam the Dog, with a cameo appearance by Johnathan Thurston, plus former Queensland Firebirds netballer Beryl Friday.

Also featured is the department's own Tony Brown, as well as two Solid Pathways students.

Head to the Every day counts website to check out the new materials. Feel free to share.

Keys to successful outcomes for Indigenous students

Personalised learning pathways, student resilience and community connections are key to successful outcomes for Indigenous students.

More than 370 attendees from across Queensland participated in the 2017 Indigenous Education Conference.

Held in Brisbane from 26 to 27 June, the conference focused on the theme of Equity through excellence. With presentations from keynote speakers, schools and practitioners, the conference highlighted that successful outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students rely on knowing each student and what they need to succeed, fostering perseverance and resilience, and building strong community connections.

School leaders, teachers and department staff heard the resounding message that listening to students' dreams and aspirations, supporting students to learn and achieve, and fostering well-being are vital to support academic achievement.

We would like to thank all attendees; our sponsors – Griffith University and Safe Principals; our exhibitors – Direct National, Neopost and QSuper; and our many volunteers for their contribution. The networking and collaboration in support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students was truly inspirational.


Grants for Reconciliation in Queensland Schools – apply now!

Have you got an idea to promote Reconciliation in your school?

The Reconciliation in Queensland Schools initiative is offering grants of up to $5000 for projects that strengthen Reconciliation and support understanding and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Queensland state primary schools, including special schools and special purpose schools.

This program is part of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Reconciliation Action Plan. It is designed to promote a lasting legacy of reconciliation in the lead up to and beyond the Games.

Successful projects will:

  • focus on stronger relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the broader Australian community through genuine and mutually beneficial engagement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
  • increase understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, languages and cultures through school based learning activities
  • acknowledge and celebrate the valuable contributions made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander key dates and national events.

Visit the Embracing2018 website to find out more. Applications close on 14 July.


Creative Generation — State Schools Onstage 2017

Over 1800 talented vocal, instrumental and dance performers from Prep to Year 12 are currently well into their rehearsals for Creative Generation – State Schools Onstage 2017. Tickets for the four performances on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 July are selling fast. To find out more or to purchase tickets visit the CGEN website.

Creative Generation 

Call for input on draft Advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and training action plan

The Queensland Government is keen to consult with key stakeholders, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and organisations, on the development of a new action plan for advancing the education and training outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, students and young people.

A consultation draft of the Advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and training: An action plan for Queensland (PDF, 1.2MB) is now available to start the conversation.

The Department of Education and Training (DET) will be seeking feedback from key stakeholders on the draft action plan in these ways:

  • Consultation roundtables (invitation only) – three consultation roundtables will be held with key stakeholders in southeast Queensland – one for early childhood, one for school education and one for training and higher education
  • Regional consultation forums – separate regional forums will be held in various locations across Queensland aligned with DET regions with the support of Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships to consult with regional stakeholders
  • Written submissions – key stakeholders are invited to write submissions to respond to the priorities and actions outlined in the draft action plan. Written submissions can be provided using this feedback form (DOCX, 404KB). It contains information on when and how feedback should be submitted.
  • Online survey – the draft action plan will be made available through the Queensland Government ‘Get Involved’ consultation portal where the general public can respond to an online survey.

Further details on the above consultation will be available soon.

The search is on for the best and brightest in training

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Queensland Training Awards.

Celebrating its 56th year, the awards recognise the achievements of Queenslanders like Coralie-Pearl Foster and the team from the Oothung (Sisters) in Mining Program, rewarding their passion and dedication to training.

Coralie-Pearl was a dual 2016 state finalist for the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year awards. Completing a Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance at the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Coralie-Pearl strongly believes that education is one of the most powerful tools of success, allowing her to lead by example for other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

In 2014, the Oothung (Sisters) in Mining Program won the Queensland and Australian Training Awards' Industry Collaboration award – which recognises an outstanding collaboration between an employer or industry body, and at least one other organisation, to provide innovative skills development.

There are 14 award categories available in 2017, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year and the new the Equity VET Student of the Year.

Nominations close on 31 March 2017.

For more information, visit the Queensland Training Awards.

Deadly new resources encourage school attendance

The department has produced new resources to encourage students to turn up to school – every day.

While there has been improvement in school attendance for all Queensland state school students, there is great potential to improve the rates for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

For this reason, the Every day counts campaign is targeted specifically to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The campaign features some of your favourite Indigenous footy players, including Johnathan Thurston, Sam Thaiday and Greg Inglis, in animations, a comic book, posters and a dedicated website.

We know higher school attendance leads to more positive student outcomes, so let's help motivate students to turn up to school every day.

Thanks to those Solid Pathways students who provided their input into the campaign.

Visit the Every day counts website to view the deadly new resources. 

​Find the latest news, highlights and success stories contributed by key stakeholders and partners.

Your free Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resource

Did you know the Dandiiri Schools and Community Library in Brisbane serves schools all around Queensland?

Dandiiri Library is a valuable, state-wide resource reflecting all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history.

Schools can access fiction and non-fiction books, DVDs, puzzles, puppets, toys, kits, artefacts and teacher reference materials, all with an Indigenous focus.

The library's knowledgeable staff can help teachers embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives across the curriculum in authentic and meaningful ways. Dandiiri is also an excellent source of materials on topics such as Reconciliation, the Stolen Generation, Native Title and NAIDOC week.

Membership for schools and teachers is free. Visit the Dandiiri Library page for more information​​​​​​​​​​​


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Last reviewed
23 February 2018
Last updated
23 February 2018