Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Education

Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn (CECG) respectfully acknowledges the ancestors of this country and pays respect to their descendants as custodians of this land. On this land, families live, work and play, children learn of customs and culture, traditions are passed from generation to generation, wisdom is shared, and life is still celebrated in harmony with the natural environment.

CECG honours the Elders past and present who have laid the foundations for self-determination and rights for Aboriginal Peoples. We thank them for the unique gift of their traditions and cultures, and we commit to working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples for reconciliation and justice.

2018-2019 Focus: Culture and Identity

Through the delivery of the Australian Curriculum, Catholic Education will acknowledge, respect and reflect the histories, values, languages and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

All Australian children and young people have the opportunity to learn about the histories and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

‘We are all Visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love ….. and then we return home”

‘You are part of Australia and Australia is part of you. And the Church herself in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others. (Pope John Paul II Alice Springs 1986)

We cultivated our land, but in a way different from the white man. We endeavoured to live with the land; they seemed to live off it. I was taught to preserve, never to destroy. - Aborigine Tom Dystra

"Maintaining one's culture, values and traditions is beyond price. Human beings cannot live without that. We are glad to share our culture with Europeans and other migrants but we will never give them up." - Getano Lui, jnr, Thursday Island, 1994

"Being Aboriginal is not the colour of your skin or how broad your nose is. It is a spiritual feeling, an identity you know in your heart. ... It is a unique feeling that is difficult for non-Aboriginal to fully understand." - Linda Burney, 2010

‘The hour has come for you to take on new courage and new hope> You are called to remember the past, to be faithful to your worthy traditions, and to adapt your living culture whenever this is required by your own needs and those of your fellowman.’ - Pope John Paul II 1986

When educators establish respectful caring relationships with children and families, they are able to work together to construct curriculum and learning experiences relevant to the children in their local context. These experiences gradually expand children’s knowledge and understanding of the world.

Belonging Being & Becoming

Priority Area #2 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aboriginal Education Strategy 

Engaged Students
  • Contribute to the planning, organisation and delivery of whole school community cultural events
  • Make appropriate choices regarding the long-term consequences of their actions
  • Participate in and make constructive contributions to the learning activities associated with their culture
  • Conduct student organised and facilitated forums focused on important Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander issues
  • Set goals and work towards them supported by their teachers, parents and carers and the wider school community
  • Actively seeks out information on their culture
  • Express pride in their cultural heritage
  • Participate in the development of a school RAP
  • Celebrates Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identity
  • Volunteers and seeks out leadership opportunities and share their culture and heritage
  • Participate in a variety of opportunities
  • Express pride in their cultural heritage
  • Share their cultural heritage and identity
  • Actively seek out opportunities to develop their identity and the surrounding mobs
  • Actively monitors and reviews individual goals and are aware of their progress towards these goals

Effective Leaders
  • Develop strong connections between families, schools, local Elders and the wider Aboriginal community
  • Establish partnership with Aboriginal organisations and external agencies (including Catholic Education which support Archdiocese Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school communities
  • Develop key contacts within external agencies
  • Establish partnerships established between and local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and other stakeholders
  • Connect with parents, carers and community by offering a range of opportunities for family engagement
  • Provide opportunities for families and communities to feel welcome, informed, listened to and valued
  • Facilitate the development of a RAP for their school

Effective Teachers
  • Schools to initiate contact with significant members of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and provide opportunities for them to be involved in the daily life of the school community  
  • Provide opportunities for parents, carers and community to participate in classroom activities
  • Engage with external and other stakeholders committed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education   
  • Celebrate and acknowledge significant cultural days for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout the year
  • Ask parents about their hopes, aspirations and dreams for their children
  • Encourage and nurture the diversity of families to support student learning
  • Involve parents and carers in planning and decision making about their child’s learning
  • Honour diversity in the parent and career community


Principles of Pedagogy

P1 Everyone can Learn

P2 a deep understanding of curriculum provides content and context for learning

P4 Positive relationships are at the heart of effective teaching

P5 holding high expectations of all students is a commitment to justice

P7 learning is inspired and celebrated in community


CE Archdiocesan Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 

Bogongs Migrate South

Personal Learning Plans