Glendale East Public School

Aboriginal community engagement

Glendale East Public School implemented a whole-school Aboriginal community engagement initiative to build partnerships and cultural awareness. The school acknowledged that without authentic partnerships, deep knowledge and understanding of cultural awareness; optimal student engagement and quality learning outcomes would not be achieved.

School context



School type Primary
School subtype K - 6
Current student enrolment 156 - 240 students
FOEI range 101 - 150
Aboriginal background enrolment 11 - 20%
EAL/D enrolment 0 - 10%
IEC No
Support class(es) No
School demographic information

Glendale East Public School implemented a whole-school Aboriginal community engagement initiative to build partnerships and cultural awareness. The school acknowledged that without authentic partnerships, deep knowledge and understanding of cultural awareness; optimal student engagement and quality learning outcomes would not be achieved.

Initiative purpose

Glendale East Public School identified an area of improvement to increase the engagement of Aboriginal families in the personalised learning pathway (PLP) process. This disengagement was having an impact on the learning partnerships between the school and the families and ultimately on student engagement and learning outcomes.

The initiative was developed to increase the engagement with Aboriginal families through stronger partnerships with the school and increased cultural awareness within the school community.

Glendale East Public School implemented a whole-school Aboriginal community engagement initiative to build partnerships and cultural awareness. The school acknowledged that without authentic partnerships, deep knowledge and understanding of cultural awareness; optimal student engagement and quality learning outcomes would not be achieved.

Implementation timeframe and activities

The initiative began in 2019 with an "eat and greet" afternoon tea to welcome and encourage Aboriginal families to meet with the teachers in an informal setting. A Yarning Circle was later constructed to create an informal outdoor setting to hold Personalised Learning Pathway (PLP) meetings each semester.

Progress monitoring of this initiative led to enhanced community engagement and cultural awareness activities including:

  • an Aboriginal girls' cultural dance group (Kaiyu girls)
  • an Aboriginal boys' didgeridoo group (Yadaki boys)
  • a mural within the school grounds designed and created by the Aboriginal families and students.

The school leadership team strategically supported the initiative by targeting key stakeholders to attend the Connected to Country professional learning workshop and facilitated staff representation at local Aboriginal education consultative group (AECG) meetings.

Glendale East Public School implemented a whole-school Aboriginal community engagement initiative to build partnerships and cultural awareness. The school acknowledged that without authentic partnerships, deep knowledge and understanding of cultural awareness; optimal student engagement and quality learning outcomes would not be achieved.

Resources and funding sources

The initiative required the following resources:

  • employment of an Aboriginal school learning support officer to support student learning and cultural programs - $55,000 (Aboriginal background equity loading)
  • construction of the Yarning Circle and other significant Aboriginal iconology around the school - $10,000 (Aboriginal background equity loading)
  • professional learning and teacher release to support the development of Aboriginal PLPs and cultural training - $6,000 (Aboriginal background equity loading) and $5,000 (professional learning).

Total cost: $76,000

Funding sources used
Aboriginal background
Professional learning

Glendale East Public School implemented a whole-school Aboriginal community engagement initiative to build partnerships and cultural awareness. The school acknowledged that without authentic partnerships, deep knowledge and understanding of cultural awareness; optimal student engagement and quality learning outcomes would not be achieved.

Evidence of impact


There was an increase (>50%) in Aboriginal families engaging in the PLP process and, more importantly, conversations became more authentic, at times continuing for more than an hour as a result of the welcoming and informal setting.

2019 NAPLAN data indicated that 25% of Aboriginal students were achieving in the top 2 bands for reading and numeracy, an increase of 10% from 2018.

Tell Them From Me surveys indicated 88% of Aboriginal students feel like their culture is valued at school.

The Kaiyu girls dance group increased in popularity with the uptake including non-Aboriginal students.

A Glendale East Public School staff member has become a regional delegate for the AECG.

Glendale East Public School implemented a whole-school Aboriginal community engagement initiative to build partnerships and cultural awareness. The school acknowledged that without authentic partnerships, deep knowledge and understanding of cultural awareness; optimal student engagement and quality learning outcomes would not be achieved.

Next steps

Glendale East Public School has been successful in applying for a sustainability grant of $10,000 which will resource the extension of the Yarning Circle to include a bush tucker garden and story poles.

The school leadership team is targeting further professional learning for administration staff to attend Connected to Country workshops.

Future investment of the Aboriginal background equity loading will target support for Aboriginal students in the classroom.

Download the printable version of this resourcing snapshot

Return to top of page Back to top