School's double delight at Reconciliation Awards
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 5, 27 July 2018, p22
Mabel Park State High School’s efforts on behalf of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students has earned it not one, but two prestigious awards.
The Logan school was one of the Queensland businesses, community organisations, educational institutions and partnerships recognised for their commitment to reconciliation at the 2018 Queensland Reconciliation Awards in Cairns.
As well as taking the honours in the education category, Mabel Park’s “Miracles at Mabel” program also landed the prestigious Premier’s Reconciliation Award in recognition of its all-inclusive attitude to improving the literacy, numeracy, attendance, health and wellbeing of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Under the scheme, students receive education from Elders and community members about their culture as they attend different activities such as dance, arts, didgeridoo and boomerang making. Elders and other community members are willing to be included in any activity that will benefit the students and improve their personal development.
Since the programs started, the school has seen a significant improvement in student numbers, school attendance and student behaviour. Indigenous student numbers have increased from 56 in 2013 to 116 in 2018, with 100 per cent Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) attainment by Indigenous students.
This focused approach has been developing over the past five years and is now part of the whole school culture, as well as having a significant outreach effect within the local community.
Bald Hills State School was highly commended in the education category for “The Turrwan Circle”, which was set up to help students and their families form a strong collective identity and create a genuine sense of ownership and belonging. As part of the philosophy, families are included in the process of determining the desired educational outcomes of the children.
The other finalists were Tamborine Mountain State School for the “Jingeri Jingeri” project and Eidsvold P-12 State School for “Yumbin means all of Us”.
The Queensland Reconciliation Awards is an initiative of the Queensland Government through the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, and is supported by BHP Billiton, Australia Post, Koori Mail and ABC Radio Brisbane and Queensland.