Having staff able to provide expert and authentic support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is a key to addressing their needs, as Journalist Sara El Sayed writes.
Schools that create the space for dedicated positions are able to genuinely connect with and support their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
IEUA-QNT member Sammy Leone (pictured) highlighted the ways in which these roles can have a real impact on school communities.
In his role as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Coordinator at Ambrose Treacy College in Brisbane, Leone offers culturally appropriate support and advice to students, families and those in the College community.
He fosters community engagement and consultation – and supports the school through working with students individually, and through program development, strategic planning and community networking.
Leone has 11 years’ experience working within the community sector in roles such as youth work, family support, case management, counselling, sport and recreation, program coordination and mental health.
“In all of these roles I have facilitated workshops and programs to support youth and families within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and wider community.”
Leone’s experience in the community sector has shaped the way he approaches his work in the education sector – with a focus on youth and community welfare.
“In my role I enjoy working with our future leaders to guide and mentor them into their secondary phase of life with the intent to see them achieve and be the best that they can be.
“The skills and learning that I gain from my elders and working in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community are what guide me in my current practice.”