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Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools

Building positive futures

Jennifer Wills, Dr Pat Coughlan, Josh Waters, Uncle Walter McCarthy and Lottie Beschel are joined by a Winangali dancer

Last week, Toowoomba Catholic Schools launched their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education plan at a gathering of local community leaders, Elders and staff from schools and the Catholic Schools Office. 

Welcoming guests and Acknowledging Country in dance and song Winangali Infusion, a dance and cultural group that includes students and adults, had the gathering highly engaged. 

In officially launching the Plan, Dr Pat Coughlan, Executive Director: Catholic Schools said, “The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education plan is a culmination of eighteen months’ work led by the Diocesan Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Committee.

Through collaboration with Principals and community consultations this Plan describes the school achievement we are working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to realise.  It also is about educating all of our students about the histories and cultures of our country.”

The Plan will be implemented across the 31 schools that make up the Diocese of Toowoomba, stretching as far west as Quilpie. 

Josh Waters, Chair of the Diocesan Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Committee believes the Plan supports schools to ensure partnerships with their Indigenous families and communities. 

“It is about building community and understanding the importance of culture and identity in the academic achievement of all students.”

Alongside Elders, priests, City Councillors and Dr John McVeigh, Member for Groom, Uncle Darby McCarthy showed his support for this Plan, “The future is all about our babies. This Plan will go a long way to helping all our young people.”