North Coast TAFE recognises Reconciliation Week - education helps close the gap

Maura Luxford, leader community and business engagement at Taree and Great Lakes TAFE campuses, celebrating Reconciliation week at Yareenumbah at Taree campus with staff and students.

Maura Luxford, leader community and business engagement at Taree and Great Lakes TAFE campuses, celebrating Reconciliation week at Yareenumbah at Taree campus with staff and students.

NORTH Coast TAFE recognised Reconciliation Week with a range of events held at a number of its campuses on the North Coast.

Taree and Great Lakes campuses had morning teas to celebrate Reconciliation Week.

"Reconciliation Week is a nationwide invitation to share stories, embrace our culture and keep building strong relationships," Amanda Davis from the Aboriginal Learning Circle at Taree and Great Lakes TAFE campuses, said.

"The week is framed by two key dates in Australian history, May 27 is the anniversary of the 1967 referendum where more than 90 per cent of Australians voted yes to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the census. June 3 marks the 1992 Mabo decision by the High Court of Australia to recognise native title.

"It is important that we commemorate these milestones together to learn, understand and create a reconciled Australia," Amanda said.

Maura Luxford, leader of community and business engagement at Taree and Great Lakes campuses said "Reconciliation Week provides us all with an ideal opportunity to reflect on our reconciliation journey for all Australians, to talk about the issues and to come up with innovative ideas and actions that make a difference.

"The work we do, creating learning opportunities and employment pathways, gives us a great chance to contribute in a purposeful way," Maura said.

"We know that education is incredibly important in helping close the gap and there is clear evidence of positive shifts of success in North Coast TAFE.

"Over the past five years, we have seen annual enrolments of Aboriginal people in higher qualifications Certificate III, IV and Diploma nearly double in numbers from 900 in 2009 to well over 1600 last year."

Maura said that North Coast TAFE has also been instrumental in initiating the Aboriginal Learning Circle, an alliance between five TAFE NSW institutes that delivers TAFE services and learning solutions to Aboriginal learners in a culturally appropriate way.

"The Aboriginal Learning Circle respects the wisdom, life experience and strength that Aboriginal people already hold, and creates a wider and more diverse choice of culturally appropriate learning for Aboriginal organisations and communities," Maura said.

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