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TMB helps celebrate Aboriginal education achievements
Aboriginal students in Sydney public schools are ‘closing the achievement gap’ despite sometimes having to overcome significant challenges, according to a book being launched today.
The book, ‘Burbangana – Take hold of my hand and help me up', offers a vibrant insight into the accomplishments of Aboriginal students in public education in inner Sydney, and was created by Teachers Mutual Bank in conjunction with the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) Sydney region.
‘Burbangana’ incorporates program case studies and personal stories from Aboriginal students and teachers in inner Sydney urban schools, highlighting the importance and value of education in improving learning outcomes and strengthening understanding about Aboriginal culture.
Thanks to a “strategic, bifocal approach” to Aboriginal education, Sydney Region Department Of Education has put in place specific programs to close the achievement gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, while also acting to strengthen and increase the number of Aboriginal students achieving the highest levels in schooling.
Dr Phil Lambert, Department of Education Regional Director, Sydney, said: “While we acknowledge there is still much work to be done in bridging the national literacy and numeracy divide, there has been some outstanding progress and this inspiring publication is a celebration of what our teachers and students have achieved.”
“Anyone who reads this book will be excited and impressed by the stories, insights, comments and artworks from young people featured, some of whom have had to overcome a range of challenges.”
“Behind every child in this book are their families, their Elders, and their people, as well as the resources of Sydney region’s public schools. There is great pride in what our students and our schools are achieving – they inspire us to maintain our efforts.”
One such example is Grant Maling, School Captain at JJ Cahill Memorial High School in Mascot. Having won awards for his school work, and for his role in the Aboriginal reconciliation process, Grant co-hosts a radio show and obtained a traineeship with the Nine Network.
“It was a long road to get where I am, but now I’m about to wrap up 13 years of schooling and start a new chapter of my life,” said Grant.
Sydney area public schools have implemented over 15 school initiatives helping to support Aboriginal school children including Koori Kids Big Day Out, City to Bush Indigenous Cultural Exchange and NAIDOC Week celebrations. There are also regional and partner programs offering additional support to local kids.
Teachers Mutual Bank partnered with Department Of Education Sydney to develop ‘Burbangana’, as they are committed to building support for Aboriginal education initiatives and the wider education community.
Steve James, CEO of Teachers Mutual Bank, said: “These students’ stories and accomplishments prove that there is so much to be proud of in urban Aboriginal communities.”
“As one of the largest mutual banks in Australia, we have a passion and, we believe, a responsibility to support the communities in which we conduct our business. There are currently more than 800 permanent Aboriginal teachers in NSW public schools and we invest in a diverse range of activities for indigenous and non-indigenous teachers and their communities, to help them flourish.”
Download Burbangana – Take hold of my hand and help me up.