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Education Engagement Strategy now open for discussion

Office of the Chief Minister

The Territory Labor Government is seeking public input into an innovative strategy that will set a new course for student engagement and improved educational outcomes.

The Education Engagement Strategy, to be released later this year, will be a framework for meaningful, accessible education stemming from purposeful and engaging learning processes.

Acknowledging the key role communities have in leading schools, the strategy will outline actions that can be led by students, families and broader communities across the NT in collaboration with the education system to successfully engage and motivate students and support their wellbeing.

An Expert Reference Group has been appointed, comprising of researchers and academics from across Australia who have known expertise in school and early childhood education, including Aboriginal education and culture.

There is also a 16-member Education Leaders Reference Group that includes principals from schools across the Territory.

The groups will shape the direction of Education Engagement Strategy as determined by student and community consultations.

An Education Engagement Discussion Paper that frames the conversations with young people, parents, carers and the broader community during the consultation phase is now online.

There are a number of ways Territorians can have their voices heard:

  • Email a written submission, share your story or complete an online submission via the Have your Say Website:; or
  • Attend a public forum or workshop in Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek or Nhulunbuy. Dates are on the ‘have your say’ website and

The consultation process runs until 8 July 2021.


Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Lauren Moss:

“The Territory Labor Government values all students and we want them to be meaningfully engaged in learning throughout their education journey.

“Schools do a fantastic job to engage children in learning, and we are seeing positive results at the local school level, but there is more that we can do to give all children a sense of belonging and purpose at school.

“Our strategy aims to engage and motivate all students in learning wherever they go to school, whatever their challenges.

“Our communities play a key role in leading our schools and that’s why we are looking for their input into creating strong partnerships between schools and communities, and making positive, effective, sustainable changes.”


Quotes attributable to Education Engagement Strategy Reference Group Chair Professor Ruth Wallace:  

“The Education Engagement Strategy is an opportunity to strengthen the partnership with community and schools so we have a different orientation.

“This is about the schools and communities reflecting each other, it’s not about one transforming the other.

“By creating relationships that are long lasting, we can work towards making schools a place where every student wants to learn.”


Expert Reference Group members:

·       Professor Ruth Wallace, Dean, College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts; Director Northern Institute Charles Darwin University

·       Ms Debra Dank, Head of School, Higher Education, Faculty of Higher Education and Research, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

·       Dr Kevin Lowe, Scientia Indigenous Fellow, UNSW

·       Maree Graham, Director, Indigenous Students and Community Engagement, University of Technology Sydney

·       Professor Steve Zubrick, Telethon Kids Institute

·       Ms Fiona Gibson, Walpiri Education and Training Trust (WETT) representative

·       Dr Payi Linda Ford, Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow, Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University

·       Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM, Senior Australian of the Year 2021

·       Ms Catherine Hydon, Director and Principal Consultant, Hydon Consulting

·       Professor Chris Matthews, Associate Dean (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) University of Technology, Sydney

·       Dr John Boffa, Chief Medical Officer Public Health, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Aboriginal Corporation


Education Leaders Reference Group:

·       Principal Adam Dicks from Mamaruni School

·       Family Educator Alison Wunungmurra from Gapuwiyak School

·       Principal Andree Rice from Xavier Catholic College

·       Principal Cassie O’Bree from Centralian Middle School

·       Principal Christopher O’Neil from Gapuwiyak School

·       Cyndi Bower from Batchelor Area School

·       Principal Donna O’Brien from Gillen Primary School

·       Principal Donna Wright, Sadadeen Primary School

·       Principal Glenn Dixon from Casuarina Senior College

·       Principal Jackie Roberts from Bakewell Primary School

·       Principal Leah Crockford from Leanyer Primary School

·       Principal Lyndie Watson from Jilkminggan School

·       Senior Director, School Improvement and Leadership Barkly, Maisie Floyd

·       Assistant Principal Ranae Graham from Driver Primary School

·       Assistant Principal Ruth Millikan from MacFarlane School

·       Teacher Linguist Yalmay Yunupingu from Yirrkala School


Media contact: Jasmin Afianos – 0419 361 127