Acknowledgement of Country
Catholic Education – Diocese of Cairns would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land, and pay respect to the Elders, past, present and future for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Indigenous Australia.
Catholic Education promotes and supports the unique and diverse cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, their parents and communities. Through the development of quality relationships between child, teacher and parents, the uniqueness and giftedness of each student is appreciated and valued.
We are committed to working towards five priority areas in Indigenous Education:
- Early Childhood Education
- School and Community Educational Partnerships
- School Leadership
- Quality Teaching, and
- Training, Employment and Higher Education
Our schools focus on the holistic growth and development of each student, by recognising and affirming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in a faith based, welcoming, caring, relaxed learning environment. Our school environments promote a sense of belonging and development spiritually, physically, socially, emotionally and academically. We recognise the great cultural diversity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, and value information and insight in how to integrate cultural diversity into the curriculum.
As we welcome those who seek to share our life, the number of indigenous students in our schools continues to show a steady increase. School communities endeavour to communicate current educational trends in a culturally appropriate and effective manner, and provide ongoing assistance in developing understanding with families.
Indigenous student learning outcomes are maximised through Indigenous Supplementary Assistance Funding (ISA). This overarching program is designed to improve outcomes set out in the National Goals for Indigenous Education, set by the Australian Government and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Indigenous Education Workers are employed at our schools where there is a larger population of indigenous students. These officers facilitate good communication between the school and the home community. Through sponsorship of Indigenous employees within our schools, we seek to provide positive role models for the students in our school communities.
Professional Learning is ongoing for staff in our schools, and workshops for parents and carers of indigenous children are offered in our schools.
Our Catholic schools provide supportive classrooms and school environments that encourage all students in diverse learning and support their individual needs.
The Spirits Are Calling
Here is a fantastic video where students from Mount St Bernard College, Herberton and St Monica’s College, Cairns express pride in their Aboriginal and Torres Strait heritage through traditional song, dance and language.