27 November 2018

The Yothu Yindi Foundation will host more than 50 stakeholders from across Australia at a two-day conference in Darwin starting today aimed at improving regional Indigenous education outcomes in northeast Arnhem Land.
The conference, titled ‘Tackling the Education Medusa’, will bring together government departments and non-government agencies with Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations working in the education and youth affairs space with the purpose of forging better education pathways for students in remote communities.

Among those attending are representatives from the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Departments of Education, Territory Families, the Children’s Commissioner, the Department of Social Services, the University of Melbourne, Charles Darwin University, Miwatj Health, Anglicare, AFLNT, Equatorial Launch Australia, representatives from the NT Department of the Attorney General and Justice, members of the Yambirrpa and Yothu Yindi Dilak Councils, CSIRO, ARDS, Laynhapuy Homelands Association, Lee Green, Apple Australia, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Headspace and Stars Foundation.

YYF CEO Denise Bowden said the conference was the first of its kind since the Review of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory in 2013.

“The concept of the ‘Medusa’ in our educational eco-system references the multitude of departments, agencies, and organisations impacting on the Yolngu community in one form or another in northeast Arnhem Land,” Mrs Bowden said.

“We are operating in a complex landscape with a number of challenges and this has led to overlap in some areas, gaps in others, and ultimately, sub-optimal outcomes in education that we believe can be improved. By bringing stakeholders together and collaborating, we’re seeking to untangle the web of the Medusa.
“We need to unlock the points of congestion, address gaps in the system, and implement the necessary reforms that will drive improvement in all our efforts, whether it’s the traditional classroom setting or one of the other education pathways that exist. Tackling the education Medusa requires a collective effort, and YYF is committed to this process with our stakeholders. We are delighted that so many key players will be joining us for this important gathering.”

The importance of an Indigenous curriculum and the role of digital and online technology in remote schools will also be discussed, along with sessions mapping out long-term planning in the sector.

Veteran ABC broadcaster Charlie King will facilitate the discussion.


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