The Connected Communities difference

Read about the key features of the Connected Communities Strategy.

Local School Reference Group

The Local School Reference Group:

  • is a link between the school and the parts of the community they each represent
  • with the school, co-leads and co-designs programs for the school
  • knows the profile of the community and uses this to design programs
  • is chaired by the president of the local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG)
  • members include;
    • local Elders
    • the Executive Principal
    • key community members
    • the P&C (where there is one
  • invites government and non-government representatives to attend at appropriate times

Executive Principal

The Executive Principal is the highest level of principalship in the state. The role differs to that of a general NSW public school principal because the position requires greater work and collaboration with government and non-government groups in the customised designing and delivery of services to individual students, as well as working consistently and productively with the community, and in particular with the school’s Local School Reference Group.

Senior Leader/Leader Community Engagement

The Senior Leader/Leader Community Engagement role is a full-time Aboriginal-identified executive position which provides strategic advice to the Executive Principal on issues relating to Aboriginal students and works in collaboration with the local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group. The role also provides a communication conduit and builds partnerships between the school, Aboriginal families, local agencies and the community.

Aboriginal Cultural Education

All Connected Communities schools engage in the Aboriginal culture – including participation in the local NSW AECG’s Connecting to Country program.

Embedding local Aboriginal Culture and teaching the local Aboriginal language have strengthened students' identity, pride and engagement in school.

Healing and Wellbeing

Recognising the impacts of intergenerational trauma, supporting and respecting community healing processes is an important part of the Connected Communities Strategy and the work undertaken by schools that implement it. A key way the strategy contributes to addressing intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal students, their families and their communities is through the Healing and Wellbeing model. The model resources professional training and support to school staff on trauma-informed approaches. It also supports opportunities for local Aboriginal community members to engage in programs that support their healing journey, while broadening their knowledge and skill base in counselling and youth work.

Through the Healing and Wellbeing model, Connected Communities schools have been able to accommodate health and other paraprofessionals to operate out of their school to support families and carers to navigate complex systems, and help students gain access to appropriate services and resources. This has enabled families to more readily access services for children within the school setting, which they find to be familiar, convenient and safe. Some examples of service delivery include occupational therapy, speech pathology, family support services, social work and early intervention (vision, behaviour and autism).


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

Business Unit:

  • Aboriginal Education and Communities
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