The Tasmanian Government signed the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration 2019 which commits it to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners to reach their potential, and includes the following statement:
“Educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people remain behind those of other learners in a number of key areas. Meeting their needs and fostering access, engagement, progress, and achievement for their educational performance requires strategic effort and investment.”
Tasmania has the highest proportion of First Nations students in public schools than any other state at 11.5% of total enrolments while according to the Department of Education, less than one per cent of teachers in our public schools are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
While there have been some targeted improvements toward closing the achievement gap between Aboriginal students and non-Aboriginal students in Tasmanian schools, on average the gap between the two groups of students is widening.
Supporting cultural awareness and activities both inside and outside of school for First Nations teachers and students is important and under-resourced schools need funding to support engagement in important cultural activities relevant to their school communities.