Working in partnership
Connected Communities Schools operate as hubs for the delivery of services to students that support their educational, health and wellbeing needs.
In this 'School as a Service hub' model, schools facilitate local agreements and partnerships with a range of agencies including with Health, Police, Family and Community Services.
Schools also work with key community organisations and Aboriginal Community Leaders to ensure there is strong support for the voice of the Aboriginal community and that Aboriginal language and cultural programs reflect local cultural contexts.
The NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc.
The NSW Aboriginal Consultative Group Incorporated (NSW AECG Inc.) is an important partner in ensuring the successful implementation of the Connected Communities Strategy.
Schools work closely with NSW AECG Inc. through its network of regional and local AECGs to strengthen their understanding of the needs of Aboriginal communities and students with a view to achieving their jointly agreed goal - to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal students.
The NSW AECG Inc. have provided professional learning for staff in Connected Communities school building understandings of Aboriginal Culture and supporting them to develop culturally inclusive curriculum.
- Healthy Culture: Healthy Country – The Healthy Culture: Healthy Country program advances the importance of maintaining local Aboriginal languages and cultures through education. The program emphasises the synthesis between the health of culture, the health of Country, and the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Australians.
- The Connecting to Country cultural immersion program is facilitated in partnership with the AECG and has been delivered at all Connected Communities schools.
For information visit the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Incorporated website.
OCHRE (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment)
The Connected Communities strategy is designed to complement the work of the Ministerial Taskforce on Aboriginal Affairs whose recommendations informed the development of OCHRE (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment), the NSW Government Plan for Aboriginal affairs.
The plan focuses on revitalising and promoting language and culture, creating opportunities, increasing people's capacity, providing choice and empowering people to exercise that choice, as well as giving them the tools to take responsibility for their own future.
The SistaSpeak and BroSpeak cultural and mentoring workshop program at Moree Secondary College has a strong cultural focus and is designed to inspire and motivate young Aboriginal women and men about the importance of education. At the same time it tackles a range of social issues head-on including grief and loss, mental health, nutrition, alcohol (and other drugs), sexual health, gambling and self-esteem by utilising community members and local experts from a number of partnership agencies, including Pius X Aboriginal Medical Service, Healthwise and Hunter New England Health. This innovative program was developed from the ground up by Aboriginal staff at the school.
The Early Years Centre at Hillvue Public School represents a partnership between the department and various preschools around Tamworth. The refurbished centre provides a modern, exciting learning environment to help promote readiness for school in all areas of development.
Taree Public School has set up the Mums and Bubs Club, working with a number of local agencies including Uniting Care Burnside, Communities for Children and Biripi Aboriginal Service to deliver this weekly program to provide advise and support for mothers of children from birth to school age, and to reconnect them with school.
The program involved developmental advice, assessment where appropriate and a literacy program via a regular 'storytime' delivered by the school's Instructional Leader.