School's first fully Indigenous leadership team
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 126 No 4, 28 May 2021, page no.23
For the first time in its history, Bwgcolman Community School has a fully Indigenous leadership team.
The milestone was reached when the school appointed two Indigenous heads of department, Janelle Daisy and Tammy Cassady, to join the Indigenous principal and deputy principal.
Bwgcolman Community School is a kindy to year 12 school situated on Palm Island, an Aboriginal community 65km north east of Townsville. The school vision is encapsulated by the words: “Respecting Culture, two way strong” (proud and strong in Indigenous identity but able to successfully engage in mainstream), “working together” and “local to global”.
Feedback from the Palm Island community has been very positive. Recently elected Mayor Mislam Sam expressed his pleasure and support for the appointments and said it was in line with his vision to bolster the Indigenous leadership of his council and advance employment and leadership opportunities for the people of Palm Island.
Deputy principal Mark Clancy explained the significance of the new-look team: “I know how important this is for the people of Palm Island. To see Indigenous teachers leading the education of their children brings a certain comfort and hope that comes with the knowledge and connection of a shared history and identity.”
Janelle Daisy (head of department, primary) agreed: “The power of a black face leading the teaching and learning that is taking place in the classroom is immeasurable.
“It is important to our parents/carers and community members to see that the education of their children is being led by people who have a deep understanding of our history and can relate to the implications that impact on our families in community.”
Tammy Cassady (head of department, secondary) agreed: “I have felt a really positive vibe from the community about there being a fully Indigenous leadership team at Bwgcolman Community school since I was appointed as HOD secondary.
“I want to be a role model for the other Indigenous staff in the school and inspire them to achieve in their leadership aspirations.”