Improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal children and transform lives.

Improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal children and transform lives.

Transforming Lives Strategy 2025 is a multifaceted strategy, with a focus on strengthening relationships between schools and their local Aboriginal community.

Catholic Education Western Australia supports school leadership to develop Aboriginal education school improvement, resulting in stronger cultural competencies and increased Aboriginal student enrolments.

There are Four Bold Goals for us to reach by 2025:

  1. All Catholic schools will be Culturally Competent.
  2. Double Aboriginal students’ enrolments from 2500 to 5000.
  3. Increase Aboriginal Year 12 graduations from 100 to 250.
  4. Increase the percentage of Aboriginal students achieving the minimum national literacy and numeracy standard from 75% to 90%.

Outside of the Kimberley, Catholic schools do not always reflect the diversity of their communities, particularly in the enrolment
of Aboriginal children and young adults. As Catholic pastoral communities, this must change. Of those Aboriginal children and young people in our schools, many are achieving educational success.

However, a significant proportion of Aboriginal students are still acquiring low education outcomes and school completions.

As a partner in the Church’s mission and through relationship with local Aboriginal communities, Catholic school communities can fulfil their pivotal role in the improvement of education for Aboriginal children and young people and strengthen the fabric of our communities as a whole.

Pope Francis tells us that courage means speaking the truth openly and without compromise.

Pope Francis calls us all to “respond with honesty and integrity to the challenge of proclaiming the radicalism of the Gospel in
a society which has grown comfortable with social exclusion, polarisation and scandalous inequality”.

In relation to Aboriginal children and young people, Pope Francis challenges his followers to seek answers to “the marginalisation, exclusion and impoverishment that condemn millions of young people, especially youths from the original peoples.”

Our mission: To develop a more responsive education for Aboriginal children and young people.

The Aboriginal Education Team have strengthened school improvement processes to support Catholic schools to help them develop a more responsive education for Aboriginal children and young people.

“We seek to provide access to Catholic education, especially for the marginalised and disadvantaged”.

Aboriginal children and young people have an equal right to appropriate and inclusive education in our schools.

Through the Aboriginal Education Policy, the Catholic Education Commission of WA call all Catholic schools to provide Aboriginal students with equitable access to, and participation in the Catholic schooling process so Aboriginal children and young people are given every opportunity to achieve educational outcomes equal to that of their non-Aboriginal peers.


Aboriginal Education Improvement Map

Transforming Lives Strategy 2025 makes use of CEWA’s Aboriginal Education Improvement Map as a multipurpose tool for whole school improvement, using an Aboriginal education lens.

Underpinned by the Bishops’ Mandate, the Strategic Directions and a cultural competency framework, the AEIM supports schools to identify and map

school improvement across stages of cultural competency, guided by Aboriginal Education Team Consultants.

The AEIM is an integral tool for schools to have meaningful participation in Transforming Lives: Strategy 2025 and progress towards the four Bold Goals.

What will Transforming Lives: Strategy 2025 do?

  1. Increase whole-school improvement
    Strengthen school improvement using an Aboriginal education lens.
  2. Strengthen the curriculum
    Reinforce the curriculum using Aboriginal perspectives and strengthen culturally responsive pedagogies.
  3. Create connections
    Support connections between the local Aboriginal community and school.
  4. Additional projects and support
    Support schools with Aboriginal education programs.

The Aboriginal Education Team provides schools with:

  1. Advice and school improvement support through the Aboriginal Education Improvement Map (AEIM)
  2. Support for school leadership to develop and activate school Aboriginal Education Plans
  3. Targeted professional learning opportunities
  4. Development of culturally responsive pedagogical practices and methodologies with a focus on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  5. Processes for participation and engagement with, and through, the local Aboriginal community.

Our dedicated team stretches across the state, with consultants in the Perth, Bunbury, Geraldton and Broome dioceses.

We are committed to supporting whole school improvement using an Aboriginal education lens.


Catholic Education Western Australia and the Aboriginal Education Team support
Catholic schools to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal students, while acknowledging, respecting and reflecting Aboriginal peoples’ histories and cultures, for the benefit of all.


Our Story - An Aboriginal Perspective

Yellow is Spirit - like a fire that burns stronger the more we learn. As the fire grows and spreads, it clears the way for new growth and knowledge. The smoke carries away our worries and keeps our spirit clear and strong.

Blue is Water - that gives life, purifies our spirit, and helps us to be renewed.

Brown is Mother Earth - the place from which we are all born, reminding us that although we are always moving forward, we must also remain grounded.

The People holding the crosses - are us together as family, sharing our Dreaming and our faith, passing our knowledge along to future generations.

The bigger Circle of Hands - shows our teachers, community, Elders, and schools passing Dreaming, faith, and knowledge onto our children, represented by the smaller hands. This way, our children can receive a world of opportunities to then reach out and guide our next generation.

Elaine McKenzie, Broome, 2016

Transforming Lives artwork by Bard Kija Nimarnburr Mungit artist Elaine McKenzie, Broome, 2016

We would like to acknowledge the original custodians of Country. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Peoples.