Aboriginal education officer Carmel McGrady (left), Tabulam Public School principal Lesley Mills, Cabbage Tree Island Public School principal Dyonne Anderson and Aboriginal education officer Delia Rhodes with achievement awards.
Aboriginal education officer Carmel McGrady (left), Tabulam Public School principal Lesley Mills, Cabbage Tree Island Public School principal Dyonne Anderson and Aboriginal education officer Delia Rhodes with achievement awards.

Awards for Aboriginal education

TWO local schools have won a prestigious national award for leading the way in Aboriginal education.

Cabbage Tree Island Public School and Tabulam Public School were both recipients of a Dare to Lead high achievement award, which only four other schools in the country received, at a presentation in Brisbane recently.

Dare to Lead is a Principals Australia government-funded project that aims to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal students.

Tabulam Public School principal Lesley Mills is a strong advocate of the Dare to Lead program and is honoured her small school was recognised.

“Tabulam has always been very innovative in Aboriginal education,” she said.

“We were surprised to receive the award because it was one of only six in Australia. We are really pleased.

“I think a dedicated and caring staff that is very hard-working and a supportive community helped us get this.

“We work very hard to have a family-orientated school. Anyone that visits comments on the friendliness of the school.”

Tabulam Public School has 66 students, of which 60 per cent are Aboriginal. The school managed to improve the literacy rate by 10pc last year.

Cabbage Tree Island Public School principal Dyonne Anderson said the primary school had improved the percentage of students receiving average to above average marks to 80pc last year, up from only 20pc of students in 2005.

“It is vital to my role as an indigenous principal, as well as my responsibility, to make sure these children are achieving,” Mrs Anderson said.

“Our school is a Stronger Smarter school (a government initiative), so it's about being part of who you are and the children become stronger with their identities.

“I am very proud of our school and very proud of our achievements. We work closely with the community so this is an achievement for everyone involved.”

Cabbage Tree Island Public School and Tabulam Public School each received a trophy, a plaque and a $5000 cheque.



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