NTG still looking to Cape York schools




p2131-Cape-York-bandMinister for Education Peter Chandler will return to Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula and visit schools getting great results as major reforms to improve outcomes in the Territory are finalised.
This visit comes in the wake of shocking findings from Bruce Wilson’s Indigenous Education Review where major failings of the Northern Territory’s remote education system were identified.
An implementation plan is currently being developed to bring about major improvements to education outcomes in our remote schools.
Left: Students from the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy at their annual Band Camp. Courtesy CYAAA.
Minister Chandler will be joined by Minister for Community Services Bess Price and three Indigenous educators from Territory Schools. Yalmay Yunupingu and Merrkiyawuy Ganambarr Stubbs from Yirrkala School in North East Arnhem Land and Stephanie Blitner from Angurugu School on Groote Eylandt.
Minister for Education, Peter Chandler said it is crucial for the success of these reforms that the views of these influential educators are canvassed while the plan is being developed.
“I’ve had the opportunity to witness how successful some of the education programs are on the Cape and I’m keen to see what educators, who work on the ground every day with students, think about the programs.” Mr Chandler said.
“We will be looking at boarding facilities in Weipa, Direct Instruction classes from the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy schools and also Pormpuraaw State School which is offering their own version of explicit teaching and getting good results.
“Particular focus will be given to how local culture and language are in taught in these schools.”
Minister for Community Services Bess Price said the government wants to strengthen language and culture in schools while better preparing students to participate in the wider world.
“Culture and Language are, and will always be, a part of who we are as Indigenous Territorians, but to grow economies in our communities we need more kids going to school and making the most of their opportunities.
“I want to see better results in our remote schools and this government is doing all we can to make that happen.”
Schools included on this visit are; Western Cape College, Pormpuraaw State School and Aurukun and Hope Vale Campus’ of the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy.
Bess Price, Member for Stuart 
Minister for Community Services
Peter Chandler, Member for Brennan 
Minister for Education
NT Government media release, 11 August 2014



  1. To improve teacher morale, stability and ultimately student outcomes the most important reform the Government needs to focus on is to heal their relationship with their teaching workforce. A good start would be to settle the EBA dispute.

  2. Hopefully Minister Chandler while canvassing the views of influential indigenous educators, will in turn be prepared to act on their expert advice and opinion as they are skilled practitioners who have deep understandings and years of practice as “both ways” teachers and learners in multilingual multicultural diverse educational settings.
    The implementation of the particular programs, policies and methodologies that politicians, government departments and indigenous organisations are clearly pursuing will fail unless those experienced community based practitioners are placed in leading roles advising bureaucrats, politicians and service providers as to HOW to deliver the programs effectively, ensuring that families and students have some ownership, status and control over the implementation and ongoing accountability process.
    And yes, Hal, after Christopher Pine’s visit and earlier articles run by AS News it appears that some schools will be following the DI Cape York model – it does seem a pity that there are no educators from Central Australia – a team of community based practitioners across regions would at least ensure some whole of Territory approach giving a strong voice to many who have not been heard and bringing the experts to the table, giving them the opportunity to lead the transformational changes that are desperately required at this critical time.
    I recommend also the recent speech by Yalmay Yunupingu.


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