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NAIDOC Person of the Year leads education forum seeking change

25 July 2016
Indigenous education expert Professor Chris Sarra makes the keynote address at the University of Sydney's Making Tomorrow Forum.

Following his powerful speech at the 2016 NAIDOC Awards, Professor Chris Sarra will facilitate a day of workshops for teachers and other staff working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students on Tuesday 26 July.

Hosted by the University of Sydney, the Making Tomorrow Forum will also develop strategies and action plans to effect change, that can then be shared with schools and communities.

The forum will focus on promoting high expectations, positive cultural identity and Indigenous leadership.

“I’m delighted to be working with the University of Sydney again, at their third Making Tomorrow Forum,” Professor Sarra, founder of the Stronger Smarter Institute, said.

Photo of Professor Chris Sarra

Professor Chris Sarra, 2016 NAIDOC Person of the Year.

“It is a great forum for sharing best practice in Indigenous education, where we know the formula for success is actually very simple but accept that the work is very hard,” he added.

Principals, teachers, career advisers, year advisers, school counsellors, senior executives and representatives from community organisations across the country will come together to share success stories and challenges, and learn from peers and experts in the field. They’ll also receive the latest information on pathways, access programs and support services available to Indigenous students interested in attending university.

Accredited by the Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES), the day will feature a number of workshops including an inspirational session run by Professor Sarra on leadership, vision and change makers.

Ms Lynette Riley, Academic Leader with the University’s National Centre for Cultural Competence, will facilitate a discussion on recent research that investigates the conditions required for Indigenous students to achieve academic success.

Other sessions will examine leading change within a school environment, successful partnerships and the ‘matrix of success’, and the power of digital media and narrative.

The University’s Head of Widening Participation, Mary Teague, said: “The Making Tomorrow Forum will bring together dedicated people from all over the country and connect them to exemplar programs, school partnership initiatives and current research that is effecting positive change in the educational outcomes for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their school communities.

“We’re not drawing from a deficit model, asking ‘what can we do to close the gap?’” said Ms Teague.

“Instead, we’ll be looking closely at contexts where there is educational success and asking ‘why is this working and what are the factors that make this a different educational experience?’”

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Rachel Fergus

Media and PR Adviser
It’s a great forum for sharing best practice in Indigenous education, where we know the formula for success is actually very simple but accept that the work is very hard.
Professor Chris Sarra, founder of the Stronger Smarter Institute
We’ll be looking closely at contexts where there is educational success and asking ‘why is this working and what are the factors that make this a different educational experience?’
Mary Teague, Head of Widening Participation