Roles and responsibilities

Aboriginal Language Tutors

The local or regional AECG can assist with identifying appropriate Aboriginal people to work as Aboriginal languages tutors.

Schools are required to ensure that all relevant pre-employment checks are completed and approved prior to the employment of any staff.

Aboriginal language tutors are responsible for instructing students in a nominated Aboriginal language that has been endorsed by the local Aboriginal community.

The school assists the Aboriginal language tutor(s) by:

  • Providing a  school induction program, including compulsory training (e.g. Child Protection; Complaint Handling and Anaphylaxis training)
  • The Principal demonstrating strong leadership in building the Aboriginal language program into the school plan and ensuring ongoing support for its maintenance and sustainability
  • Classroom teachers working collaboratively with the Aboriginal Language tutor(s) to embed and reinforce the nominated Aboriginal language/s into the school program
  • Classroom teachers working in teams to foster a shared commitment which is valued and ensuring that a duty of care is upheld in regards to classroom management
  • Assisting with accessing and/or creating a range of teaching/learning activities in the nominated Aboriginal language/s
  • Supporting the Aboriginal Language tutor with accessing training and/or professional development, specifically around developing effective strategies in providing tuition in Aboriginal language/s

Payment of Aboriginal Language Tutors

In 2014, the Secretary of the Department of Education made a determination pursuant to section 13 of the Teaching Services Act, 1980 allowing Aboriginal Language Tutors to be recognised as para-professionals within NSW.

Schools, in consultation with their employee, are to determine the type of employment of the Aboriginal Language Tutors (temporary permanent or casual term). Schools can consult with payroll to ensure they are using the correct employment codes.

Standard of pay for Aboriginal language tutors (intranet link accessible by DoE staff only).

School Principals

School based Aboriginal language programs, as like any other language program are a curriculum matter for schools.

School Principals are responsible for leading education and learning outcomes of students, the management and professional development of staff, school finances and property and the relationships between the school and its community.

Aboriginal language and Culture Nest base school principal

Nest base schools provide financial and administrative support to the Aboriginal language and Culture Nest and schools within the Nest area.  Base schools receive an annual allocation of funding for the following:

  • Administration support
  • Recurrent costs
  • Travel
  • Tutor costs

Public Schools participating in the Nest

Aboriginal Language and Culture Nests receive an annual budget to employ Aboriginal language tutors. Initiative schools are eligible for tutor reimbursement (up to 3 hours per week). Participating schools are to invoice the Base School to access this fund.

Any additional money required to support the delivery of Aboriginal Language Programs in Schools can be funded from individual schools budget.

Nest Teachers

The Teacher, Aboriginal Language and Culture Nest will work collaboratively with school staff, local Aboriginal language speakers and Aboriginal community members across the Aboriginal Language and Culture Nest to develop quality Aboriginal language programs for all students.

The teacher is responsible for:

  • planning, implementation and evaluation of quality Aboriginal language programs across schools P-12 that are situated in the Aboriginal Language and Culture Nests.
  • providing timely advice to Aboriginal Language and Culture Nest base schools and relevant principal networks.
  • sharing and modelling classroom strategies and providing professional learning activities for Aboriginal language tutors.
  • collecting, collating and analysing quantitative and qualitative data relating to the teaching and learning of Aboriginal languages.
  • providing reports and information about the implementation of Aboriginal language programs in schools.
  • establishing and maintaining positive relationships with Public Schools NSW staff, the NSW AECG Inc. through their local and regional networks and other local service providers.

Principals of Nest base schools are the direct line managers of the Teacher – Aboriginal Language and Culture Nest in the same manner as all other staff within their school.

Educational Services Staff

Educational Services Teams work in collaboration to provide quality, consistent and timely support to schools as required, offer professional learning to schools in all major key reform areas and promote and strengthen collaboration with the local community and inter-agencies.  Aboriginal identified roles within education services teams include:

  • Aboriginal Education and Engagement Advisor
  • Aboriginal Education and Engagement Officer
  • Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer

To make contact with your local education services team please visit Aboriginal Education Support Teams.

Aboriginal Education and Community Engagement

The Aboriginal Education and Community Engagement Unit is positioned within the NSW Department of Education’s Aboriginal Education and Communities Directorate. The unit supports NSW Public schools to deliver high level, quality teaching to maximise learning outcomes for Aboriginal students.

Their work is underpinned by this objective, and provides leadership, strategic advice and direction on all matters relating to Aboriginal education across the department. The unit contributes to national and state policy development for Aboriginal education including language and culture programs in schools .

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW is responsible for developing syllabuses to be taught in New South Wales schools, from Kindergarten through to Year 12.

The Aboriginal Languages K–10 Syllabus and the Aboriginal Languages Stage 6 Content Endorsed Course Syllabus allows Aboriginal languages to be recognised as a formal subject that can be taught in NSW Schools. Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW provides support to schools and Aboriginal communities to understand key aspects of Aboriginal Languages K–10 Syllabus and the Aboriginal Languages Stage 6 Content Endorsed Course Syllabus.

Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Education and Community Engagement Unit, may also provide guidance for local teaching and learning program development including the implementation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture perspective across all Key Learning Areas.

Aboriginal Affairs

Aboriginal Affairs NSW works with Aboriginal communities in NSW to promote social, economic and cultural wellbeing. It has overall responsibility to implement OCHRE (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment) the NSW Government's plan for Aboriginal affairs including coordinating the evaluation of OCHRE (Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment) initiatives and reporting to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.

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