Reaching learning potential


​Enabling every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student to succeed, reach their full potential and achieve academic success.


  • 86.8% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 3 students are achieving at or above the NAPLAN National Minimum Standard for Reading in 2019, up from 86.1% in 2017.

  • Eidsvold State School won the 2020 Reconciliation Award Education category for their Yumbin program, which means 'All of us'. The award recognised the achievements of the school in setting up a full Prep to Year 12 language reclamation program which has resulted in a dramatic improvement in community and school relationships and student learning outcomes.

  • The Solid Pathways program delivered, online enquiry-based learning for high achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Years 4–6. Students were provided opportunities to develop cognitive scientific skills that will support them to enter careers of their choice, including careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

  • Transition Support Services assisted approximately 350 secondary school aged students and their families from Cape York and Palm Island to attend, engage and achieve at over 30 partner boarding schools and residential facilities throughout Queensland. As a result of the COVID-19 health pandemic, over 1,000 state and non-state school students were supported to return home before community closures were enacted under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth).

  • Seven Principal Advisors worked across 120 state schools to build the capability of teachers and school leaders to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who do not speak Standard Australian English as their first language.

  • Youth Engagement Hubs in each region supported young people who had become disengaged or were at risk of disengaging from education to reconnect with education, training or employment.

  • In response to the COVID-19 health pandemic, Mareeba State School adapted their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education (ARTIE) Academy Program. The ARTIE coordinator regularly checked in with students learning at home to make sure they were understanding and completing their school work. The coordinator also followed up on the student and family's wellbeing and delivered school packages to homes where families were unable to get to school to pick them up. Once back at school, the coordinator continued to support returning students, helping them to settle back into their schooling.

  • Students learning from home during the COVID-19 health pandemic were supported through inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and perspectives on Reading@home TV and Learning@home TV.

  • Over 80 state schools commenced work with local Language Owners to co-design and deliver Australian Curriculum aligned Aboriginal language or Torres Strait Islander language programs for over 40 languages. Several schools assessed students in these language programs for the first time this year.

  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aspirations Program was delivered as an enhanced, online statewide event, bringing together high-achieving students from across Queensland to compete in a series of academic challenges.

  • The Local Community Body attendance program was successfully piloted in Cherbourg and Murgon. This program was flexible and responsive and engaged a wide range and significant number of stakeholders, enabling a large array of support options to be utilised.

Case studies

Yumbin means 'All of Us'

Eidsvold State School's Yumbin program is a unique approach to health and wellbeing, used in the school to effect positive change within the community.

Yumbin (meaning 'All of us' in Wakka Wakka) is centred on providing all students with a sense of belonging and connection to themselves, others and their community. Within Yumbin there is an underlying commitment that drives the ability of school, staff and community to work together toward the common goal of creating an inclusive and collaborative culture for students.

All students at Eidsvold State School work within mixed age groups every morning to learn the Wakka Wakka language, build their resilience within Rock and Water, and communicate more effectively through Rhythm to Recovery to shape a strong school culture through Leading with Strength.

Completing Year 12 opens options

In 2019, Jamila Piva from the Lockhart River community completed Year 12 at Downlands College in Toowoomba. She was one of three students from the 2015 Year 7-8 Transition Support Services cohort, and the first child in her family to complete Year 12.

Jamila attended Peace Lutheran College in Cairns until the end of Year 10, before moving further south to Downlands. She is currently in receipt of a Bond University scholarship where she will first undertake a university preparation program and a Diploma of Arts before considering her further studies.

Attending Bond University with a fellow student supported by Transition Support Services, Jamila said 'We both went to boarding school at Downlands College … we're excited to attend university together too.'

Last updated 12 April 2021