Effective strategies for supporting Aboriginal students

Successfully engaging with your school community is a key strategy for supporting Aboriginal students.

In partnership with the local Aboriginal community, schools are encouraged to create and promote an inclusive environment that respects and values local Aboriginal culture and protocols.

Community engagement

Successful community engagement can be achieved:

  • by building authentic relationships with Aboriginal families in the development of Personalised Learning Pathways (PLPs) that are co-designed and reviewed regularly with students and parents/carers
  • by building partnerships with local Aboriginal organisations, the Local Aboriginal Land Council and the local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group
  • by meeting with your local Aboriginal communities to create opportunities for Aboriginal voice and collaboration in all phases of the school planning cycle.

Further links for community engagement include:

Key resources

  • A wealth of resources is provided through The Aboriginal Education and Communities Directorate to support the education of all Aboriginal students in our public schools.
  • Closing the gap case studies (CESE)
  • School Services can support you with planning for excellence for all Aboriginal students. Contact School Services Finder through your school portal.
    • The Aboriginal Education and Wellbeing Officer provides high level support and advice to your school and other key stakeholders to assist in the implementation of strategies relating to Aboriginal education.
    • The Aboriginal Education Coordinator is responsible for providing strategic leadership of culturally relevant and inclusive services, programs and initiatives supporting the quality teaching of your Aboriginal students.

Reflective questions on effective strategies

  • Are community consultation processes articulated in our Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP)?
  • Are professional learning opportunities designed to foster a culturally responsive school available for all our staff?
  • Are Personal Learning Pathways in place for all our Aboriginal students and used by our teachers in developing learning activities?
  • How have we identified and assessed Aboriginal students who are also learners from the EAL/D equity group (see Excellence for EAL/D students) and what evidence-based practices are in our Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP)?
  • How have we identified and assessed Aboriginal students who are learners from the low-level disability equity group, or targeted for Integration Funding (see Excellence for EAL/D students) and what evidence-based practices are in our Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP)?
  • How effective is our school in assessing and identifying Aboriginal students who have high potential in one or more domains of potential?
  • What are the school practices, programs and procedures for providing additional challenge and extension across domains for our high potential and gifted Aboriginal students?

Reflective questions on community engagement

  • Is our school recognised in the Aboriginal community as being a genuine partner in developing a deep understanding of local Aboriginal culture and history for all students and community members?
  • Does our school and community acknowledge the incorporation of agreed language and cultural practices to inform school operations as an inclusive element within the day to day running of the school?
  • Do we have an effective partnership with the local AECG, Aboriginal parents, carers and Elders as well as other community-based organisations where appropriate for targeted local strategies?

Learn more

Find out more about School Excellence in Action.


  • Teaching and learning


  • Aboriginal education
  • Access and equity
  • Culture and values
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Educational accountability
  • Health, safety and wellbeing
  • Learning
  • School Excellence Framework
  • Teaching

Business Unit:

  • School Performance – South
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