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First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


Yarning the way: the role of Indigenous education paraprofessionals in guiding the post-school transitions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth

Higher education First Peoples education Australia
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The Yarning the Way research project aimed to explore the wisdom of Indigenous Education Paraprofessionals (IEPs) in their ‘connecting’ and ‘translational’ role, particularly as this related to guiding Indigenous students towards post-school education options. IEPs are school-based educators and include roles such as: Aboriginal Education Officer; Learning Support Officer; Norta Norta Tutor; Koorie Engagement Support Officer; Aboriginal Support Tutor; Aboriginal Mentor; and Special Education Support Assistant.

The study represented an attempt to fill a knowledge gap about this important yet often overlooked group of educators who have made a valuable contribution to Indigenous education in this country.

The study was guided by the following questions: What is the role of IEPs in working with Indigenous young people, their families and communities towards access to and participation in post-school education, particularly higher education? Face-to-face individual yarning and yarning circles were conducted in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Victoria. In all, 35 IEP participated in the study (23 Female, 12 Male). Twenty eight were employed in high schools and seven in primary schools.

The research reports on two main areas:

  • (1) Enabling post-school educational futures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island youth; and,
  • (2) The role of Indigenous education paraprofessionals in enabling positive futures.
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