St Joseph’s would like to respectfully acknowledge the Custodians and First Peoples of Australia, the Wonnarua and Gamilaroi nations, on whose sacred land the school stands. We pay respects to their ancestors, elders and emerging Leaders. We acknowledge the sacrifices made by many Aboriginal men, women and children in times gone by. We recognise that this land is, was and always will be Wonnarua and Gamilaroi Country.
St Joseph’s has a vibrant Aboriginal student population, who are supported and encouraged in their endeavours and studies. In more recent years, Aboriginal students have fulfilled leadership roles within the school including School Captain, Vice School Captain, Student Council Representatives, as well as Aboriginal School Leaders.
Personalised and ongoing support is facilitated by our full-time Aboriginal Education Teacher, to encourage our students to maximise their potential for all educational, sporting and cultural endeavours encountered here at St Joseph’s.
The school is committed to promoting Aboriginal Education, with both an academic and cultural focus.
- Aboriginal Studies is offered as an elective subject for Stage 5 and Stage 6 students
- Mentoring and tutoring of Aboriginal students, including support with completing assessment tasks, in-class support and one on one support.
- Monitoring of student progress to help them achieve educational goals
- Liaising with University Aboriginal Units to maximise opportunities for further study. For example, utilising programs at the University of Newcastle (The Wollotuka Institute) and Western Sydney University
- Liaising with our Careers Adviser, as well as other internal and external agencies, to maximise opportunities for further educational options, employment opportunities and trade-related experiences
- Academic achievement can be affected by student wellbeing. Wellbeing is monitored, with options for support when required
- Aboriginal perspectives are embedded in subject areas to enable effective connection with learning experiences
- A safe and supportive learning environment which enhances the cultural identity of Aboriginal students
- Culturally appropriate curriculum and teaching and assessment programs
- Encouraging and supporting staff to develop knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the educational and cultural needs of Aboriginal students.
- Acknowledgement of Country/Welcome to Country at all school assemblies and events
- Smoking Ceremonies for significant events
- Local sporting opportunities promoting skill development and reconciliation awareness
- Student assistance to engage in special cultural events, encouraging connection to culture and support for Aboriginality and their story
- Excursions to sacred areas for cultural immersions
- Welcoming members of our Aboriginal community into our school to share their stories to deepen our understanding of events of the past
- Promotion of student leadership from within our Aboriginal students. For example, opportunities to be involved in the St Joseph’s Aboriginal Leadership Team
- Commitment to our involvement within the local Aboriginal Community through AECG meetings
- Aboriginal artwork throughout the school
- Connection to AIME (Aboriginal Indigenous Mentoring Experience).