Territory Stories

Debates and Questions Day 2 - 8 May 2019



Debates and Questions Day 2 - 8 May 2019

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Parliamentary Record 19


Debates and Questions for 13th Assembly 2019 - 2020; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory




Debates; Questions

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES AND QUESTIONS Wednesday 8 May 2019 6102 Earlier this year I had a family member tell me that that she had a wonderful experience with a FaFT centre and that she would recommend it to others. This story is not isolated as many community members and children have benefited from this amazing program. I acknowledge and thank all the FaFT employees for the important work they undertake to shape the lives of the young people who attend their centres. I also thank the Minister for Education and her hard-working department for all their efforts in expanding the number of FaFT centres from 39 to 53 by the end of 2020. Our government is committed to working with remote Aboriginal communities through a local decision-making lens. Local decision-making allows for the delivery of government services to be transferred to Aboriginal people and organisations if that is what the community desires. It should be noted that local decision-making will happen at a pace that suits the community, and that government will support communities to ensure they are adequately prepared to take over and deliver the government services they control and take responsibility for. Gunbalanya School provides a great example of a local decision-making initiative. This independent public school operates on a community-led approach through the leadership of its two principals. One is Indigenous and the other is non-Indigenous. The framework for operation was created through community consultation and government has supported the schools establishment and its governing structure. Since the Gunbalanya School board was established a few years ago, members have continued to enhance their governance and leadership capabilities through its business plan. The business plan also focuses on five key areas, which are as follows: 1. Parents are engaged in their childrens education. 2. The school provides increased opportunities for school leavers, and support for students in transition to further education, jobs and training. 3. Strengthen two-way teaching and learning across all year levels. 4. The Gunbalanya IPS Board governs the school with a focus on strategic improvement. 5. The school environment meets the needs of students and staff. By focusing on these five key areas the school places itself in the best position to maximise the educational experience for all students. I wish to add some information in regard to the Member for Blains comments relating to the Baniyala Homeland, in the Member for Nhulunbuys electorate. The Baniyala Homeland local decision-making agreement will be signed at the end of this month. After months of hard work the local decision-making agreement will finally get signed and it will contain the communitys aspirations to deliver its own services. Well done to all those involved. I am sure the local decision-making agreement will bring much benefit to the Baniyala Homeland community members. School attendance is absolutely vital as children who attend school regularly are more engaged and able to learn more than their counterparts. The Minister for Education spoke in detail about the attendance strategy that our government is implementing to improve school attendance. I want to take the opportunity to touch on a few of these. The previously known truancy officers have been replaced with 23 engagement officers and 10 compliance officers. The engagement officers work with students and their families to encourage regular school attendance by helping to remove any barriers that may prevent this. There are 30 remote and 15 urban government schools which have been allocated engagement officers. I look forward to finding out how this initiative is benefiting schools in my electorate. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where engagement has not been successful in that children do not begin attending school regularly. This is where compliance officers can be called in for assistance, as they are authorised under the Education Act to compel school enrolment and attendance through the issuing of directions and notices. As previously stated by the Minister for Education, it is a last resort.

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