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Expert advisory panel for the Aboriginal Education Strategy


The Department for Education (the department) is committed to the implementation of the Aboriginal Education Strategy 2019-2029 (the strategy). The vision of the strategy is:

“Each Aboriginal child and young person is a proud and confident learner, and achieves their highest potential.”

The strategy recognises the importance of expert Aboriginal advice to improve learning outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people and provide external oversight and public accountability. An expert advisory panel (the panel) will be appointed to inform and enable the implementation of the strategy.

The role of the panel will be to work collaboratively with the senior officers of the department to provide expert advice on implementing the strategy and improving outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people.

Panel members are highly respected in their chosen fields of education, child development, culture, community and nation building and will guide the department with a range of expert advice to help deliver better outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people.

The panel is made up of members external to the department who are recognised experts in their field. The panel is non exclusive and other experts may be engaged as appropriate.


The panel will play an advisory role to inform and enable strategy implementation. It will meet three times a year to consider available performance data and progress towards achieving the vision, goals and objectives of the strategy.

The role of the panel will be to:

  • Provide expert advice to the Chief Executive on:
    • the performance of the public education system in relation to improving education outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people (including specific cohorts, as agreed with the Chief Executive)
    • the success of departmental strategies and actions in achieving progress towards the goals and objectives of the Aboriginal Education Strategy
    • engaging community and staff in strategy implementation
    • matters referred to the panel by the Chief Executive from time to time, or identified by the panel and agreed with the chief executive.
  • Endorse public reporting on strategy progress.

The department will report biannually to the panel on student outcomes against the Aboriginal Education Strategy targets. The chair is the panel’s public spokesperson with media engagements, unless otherwise agreed to by the chair and panel members.

Reporting relationships

Recommendations of the panel are to be submitted to the Chief Executive, Department for Education.


  • Professor Peter Buckskin PSM FACE, Chairperson
  • April Lawrie, Commissioner for Aboriginal children and young people
  • Dr Karen Sinclair, member
  • Dr Kaye Price AM, member
  • Professor Chris Matthews, member
  • Professor Daryle Rigney, member
  • Annette Williams, member (education representative)
  • Rueben Burton, member (education representative). 

To enable collaboration between the panel members and senior department officers with direct responsibility for the implementation of the Aboriginal Education Strategy, the following departmental representatives will attend panel meetings as required to report on implementation of the Aboriginal Education Strategy in an ex-officio capacity:

  • Chief Executive
  • Executive director, Partnerships, Schools and Preschools
  • Executive director, Strategic Policy and External Relations
  • Executive director, System Performance
  • Executive director, Early Years and Child Development
  • Executive director, Learning Improvement
  • Executive director, People and Culture
  • Director, Aboriginal Education.


Panel members will be appointed for a 3 year period, in line with the duration of strategy implementation plans.

Engagement conditions

Engagement of non-government employee panel members may be based on a fee for service contract arrangement arranged directly with the secretariat. This will be guided by the department’s procurement processes. An hourly rate will be negotiated, prior to commencement of the panel. Travel expenses may be considered for all panel members.

Panel members are engaged based on their professional expertise: Core panel members may recommend the engagement of other experts for short term appointments. Subject to assessment against the department’s procurement requirements, fee for service arrangements will be afforded to those experts of similar standing to core members.

Formal engagement of all non-government employee panel members will be based on a request for quote process or simplified agreement as may be appropriate, and as guided by the department’s procurement processes.


The panel will meet for a minimum of 3 face to face meetings per year.

The Chief Executive of the Department for Education will attend meetings to hear advice of panel members.

The panel may hold such additional meetings as may be necessary to address any additional matters referred to the panel, including in the lead up to evaluation of the first 3 year action plan.

Meetings will be conducted via appropriate confidential electronic or other means as agreed by the panel members.

The department will request potential meeting agenda items from the panel approximately 2 months before the meeting. Meeting papers will be provided to panel members approximately 2 weeks before the meeting date.

Secretariat support

Secretariat support will be provided by the Department for Education.

This support includes administering meetings, agenda and paper development and distribution, and recording minutes, key actions and decisions.

Minutes of meetings will be provided to the chair within 10 working days for review.

Conduct and confidentiality

All documents prepared for or distributed to the panel and all discussions carried out during meetings, will be treated as confidential, unless otherwise agreed.

Aboriginal Education Directorate

Phone: 8226 4391
Email: education.aboriginalstrategy [at] sa.gov.au