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Aboriginal education strategy

The Aboriginal Education Strategy was released in December 2018 to increase outcomes for Aboriginal students by developing successful foundations in the early years, supporting excellence at school and pathways to success.

About the new strategy

The strategy will focus on supporting our Aboriginal students to be proud and confident learners from birth through to beyond school.

It will also:

  • increase opportunities for children and young people across South Australia to engage with Aboriginal languages
  • create learning environments that include students’ cultural needs
  • developing detailed individual learning plans for Aboriginal learners at all of our schools.

An implementation plan for the first 3 years which sets out key actions and milestones is being developed. Educators, leaders and support services will implement the strategy at the local level, regularly monitoring and communicating progress with families and communities.

View the Aboriginal Education strategy (PDF 6.7MB).

Our focus for the first 3 years

Over the next 3 years we will work with students, young people, families and communities to implement a range of initiatives including:

  • detailed individual learning plans for Aboriginal children and young people
  • the expansion of the Workabout program to support Aboriginal young people in Port Lincoln, Murraylands, southern and western metropolitan regions to make a successful transition from school to employment, higher education and further training
  • the expansion of the South Australian Aboriginal Secondary Training Academy (SAASTA) from 16 to 21 academies to support students in the far north, south east, Adelaide hills, eastern metropolitan and Paralowie regions. In addition, creating an Aboriginal women’s AFL and a mixed Aboriginal basketball academy.

What this means for children and young people

Aboriginal children and young people will be supported through:

  • responsive learning environments that are inclusive of their cultural needs
  • more confident and supported educators who engage with their families
  • increased access to learning and development programs
  • increased engagement with Aboriginal cultures and language programs
  • individualised learning plans that identify personalised support needed to participate
  • and achieve in education and pathways to further education and employment.

What this means for families and communities

Aboriginal families and communities will:

  • be active participants in their child’s development through contributions to individualised learning plans
  • have input and participation across our services, including within governance structures 
  • have opportunities to engage in the teaching and delivery of Aboriginal cultural knowledge and languages within education settings.

Read more on the above in the Key initiatives document (PDF 1.6MB).

Development of the strategy

The strategy was designed in partnership with Professor Peter Buckskin, chairperson of the South Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Consultative Council (SAAETCC) and informed by consultation with Aboriginal students, families, communities and our workforce.

Consultation activities included:

  • face to face consultation sessions for families, parents, carers and the community held across 18 metro and country South Australian locations
  • an online survey, YourSAy page and discussion board, developed by the South Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Consultative Council (SAAETCC)
  • a community forum on the APY lands held in conjunction with the Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Education Committee (PYEC) 
  • a student forum for Aboriginal secondary school students 
  • an online survey for Aboriginal primary and secondary school students to provide input
  • sessions for staff, other government and non-government agencies, expert groups and committees were held in both metro and some country SA locations. 

Strategy goals and focus areas

The Aboriginal Education Strategy 2019 – 2029 goals:

  • Aboriginal children establish foundations for success in the early years.
  • Aboriginal children and young people excel at school.
  • Aboriginal young people on pathways to success.

Key focus areas include:

  • teaching practice and curriculum delivery
  • languages
  • engaging families and communities
  • workforce development 
  • funding policy
  • Aboriginal governance, service design and delivery.

Expert advisory panel for the Aboriginal expert advisory strategy

An expert advisory panel for the Aboriginal education strategy was established in 2019 to provide the department with information and advice to support the successful implementation of the department’s Aboriginal Education Strategy 2019-2029.

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.

View the terms of reference for the expert advisory panel for the Aboriginal education strategy.


Aboriginal Education directorate

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