Koorie Victorians will benefit from the Education State reforms across early childhood, school, vocational education and training, under a new 10-year plan for Aboriginal education in Victoria.
Minister for Education James Merlino today launched Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan at the Aborigines Advancement League in Thornbury, alongside Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins.
Marrung is a Wemba Wemba word for the Murray Cypress pine tree, representing branches of education and knowledge.
The plan was developed with Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency and Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
Mr Merlino also announced $12.7 million to support key school-based programs within the plan, including:
- A cultural understanding and safety program to help schools better support Koorie students
- Extended Early Years Koorie Literacy and Numeracy to provide an additional two years’ support to Koorie students in Years 4 and 5 who have not met National Minimum Standard in Year 3 NAPLAN
- Expansion of the Koorie Academy of Excellence to encourage Koorie students to complete Year 12 and continue onto further study
- Koori Children’s Court Liaison Officers to support Koorie children and young people who appear before the Court to continue learning
The Andrews Labor Government will invest a further $1.6 million to develop culturally responsive Maternal Child and Health services, and intensive early years support for Aboriginal families in their homes.
Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“Marrung aims to ensure all Koorie Victorians benefit from our Education State reforms, and will help close the gap in Koorie learning and development outcomes.”
“This plan gives schools, teachers and students the support they need to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in reading, writing, numeracy, school attendance and retention rates.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“The first years of life are crucial to lifelong learning, wellbeing and success. Marrung aims to ensure that Koorie children have the best possible start in life.”
Quote attributable to Geraldine Atkinson President VAEAI
“Marrung sees a new era for Koorie education – of aspiration, achievement and excellence. VAEAI is working to support the Education State reform agenda to achieve high levels of Koorie participation and confidence in early childhood, schooling, training and higher education services.”