Indigenous kids make the grade
BUNDAMBA State Secondary College is celebrating more state recognition for its progressive approach to education for children from all cultural backgrounds.
The college was nominated as a finalist in the recent Queensland Reconciliation Awards after every Year 12 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander graduated with a Queensland Certificate of Education last year.
The school also recently received a Queensland Government Showcase Award for Excellence in Schools for its groundbreaking Elders Breakfast program.
Of the school's 800 students around 100 are from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds with a similar amount having Pacific Islander heritage while other students have African, Asian or European backgrounds.
Principal Andrew Peach acknowledged the awards were recognition of the work staff and students have done but he said they were simply a start of what was to come.
"It's funny, awards often signify the finish of a process but we feel like we are at the start of our process not the end," Mr Peach said. "What we've tried to focus on is to use some of the great indigenous programs we are part of to include all kids.
"It's about bringing everyone together and using the resources we have from the National Partnerships School program."
In the two years since the school became part of the National Partnerships program, student attendance, academic outcomes, and community and parent engagement have all improved.
Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek congratulated the college for its results in improving outcomes for indigenous children.
"Bundamba State Secondary College was also one of the first urban state schools in Queensland last year with two indigenous school captains," Mr Langbroek said. "The college breaks new ground with its pilot programs and is proving the adage 'it takes a village to raise a child' with their whole community involved in the education of each student."
Bundamba State Secondary College has embraced a range of programs to improve student education.
Achieving Results through Indigenous Education (ARTIE)
Former Origin Greats (FOGs) Mentoring Program
Parent and Community Engagement (PaCE)
Elders Breakfast program