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Support services and resources

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Dandiiri Library

The Dandiiri Schools and Community Library helps develop informed and confident educators who are able to engage with the story of Indigenous Australia professionally and personally.

All Queensland state school educators can access quality Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources such as non-fiction and fiction texts, picture books, puzzles, toys, traditional games, artefacts, and professional reading materials from the Dandiiri Schools and Community Library. Library staff can assist educators to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, as outlined in the Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority, in authentic and meaningful ways.

Visit Dandiiri Library for more information.

Transition Support Service

The Transition Support Service (TSS) assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from remote communities in Cape York and Palm Island, who have to leave home in order to complete secondary schooling, to transition into secondary boarding schools and residential facilities throughout Queensland.

TSS specifically helps students to gain and take up placement at boarding school and to complete the secondary phase of schooling, providing 3 distinct services:

  • primary into secondary school transition support
  • secondary school transition support
  • re-engagement support for students who are excluded from boarding school.

In addition to working in remote communities and schools, TSS also supports students and families in transit by being a presence at airports at the beginning of each term and assisting when students return to community for compassionate reasons.

Cross Curriculum Priority

The Australian Curriculum sets consistent national standards to improve learning outcomes for all young Australians.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) acknowledges the gap in learning outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their non-Indigenous peers. It recognises the need for the Australian Curriculum to provide every opportunity possible to ‘close the gap’. Therefore, the Australian Curriculum is working towards addressing two distinct needs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are able to see themselves, their identities and their cultures reflected in the curriculum of each of the learning areas, can fully participate in the curriculum and can build their self-esteem.
  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority is designed for all students to engage in reconciliation, respect and recognition of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures.

The department is committed to building the capacity of all educators in Queensland state schools to confidently embed the cross-curriculum priority, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, in teaching and learning. Through this work, all educators will have the ability to provide opportunities for all students to deepen their knowledge of Australia by engaging with the world's oldest continuous living cultures, and develop an understanding that contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are strong, resilient, rich and diverse.

Cultural Capability

State Schools—Indigenous Education is committed to building the cultural capability of all employees working in the Department of Education. The Crossing Cultures Intelligence initiative has been developed to increase the cultural understanding of employees working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The initiative focuses on Queensland history, government legislation, policies and other significant events that have impacted the lives of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Queensland. The initiative is designed for all Queensland state school staff, ranging from school-based teaching and non-teaching staff through to senior leaders in regional and central offices. It is designed to build the cultural capability of those working with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and communities, through increasing their understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' history and cultures, to better understand Australia's colonial past and to meet the educational outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Indigenous English as an additional language or dialect (IEAL/D)

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Queensland State Schools speak a creole, a variety of Aboriginal English, or a traditional language as their first or home language. In order to access the curriculum through Standard Australian English, these students need to be explicitly and actively taught Standard Australian English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D). All EAL/D students in Queensland schools should be identified, regularly Bandscaled, and supported to learn Standard Australian English in and through the curriculum.

Professional development is available for state school staff through each region's IEAL/D coach, the EAL/D Hub via Oneportal and from the State Schools–Indigenous Education Languages and Cultures team.

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Bandscales State Schools Queensland (PDF, 165KB)

Introductory guide to the Bandscales State Schools (Queensland) (PDF, 3.7MB)

Capability Framework—Teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander EAL/D learners (PDF, 2.7MB)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Statement (PDF, 6.8MB)

Identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander EAL/D learners—flowchart (PDF, 477KB)

Traditional Languages

Queensland is home to over 80 distinct Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages. Many of these languages were actively destroyed by individuals and institutions during colonisation. As a result, very few of these languages are currently used as in day-to-day communication. Many Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people have devoted their lives to maintaining, reclaiming and revitalising these languages, as they are closely linked to identity, culture, land and law.

From 2020, all state schools will teach a language from at least Years 5 to 8 aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Learning any new language is good for cognitive development, and teaches students how to communicate across cultures. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, learning a heritage language enhances links to culture, family and land, and strengthens sense of identity and belonging.

Principals should consult with parents and local community members in order to choose which language(s) to teach. For many schools across Queensland, the most appropriate language to teach will be the local Aboriginal language or Torres Strait Islander language. Teaching an Aboriginal language or Torres Strait Islander language is an active step towards reconciliation.

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Last updated 16 September 2020