Image courtesy of the Wauchope Gazette
Reconciliation Week has long been an important event on the TAFE NSW calendar and for North Coast Institute, the 2012 celebrations were accompanied by some positive statistics.
The Institute’s Reconciliation Action Plan identifies some ambitious goals for closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians through positive educational outcomes. Institute Director Elizabeth McGregor reports that in just four years the proportion of working-age Aboriginals participating in education has increased by 50%. Similar increases have been recorded in completion of Certificate III courses, while over the same period there’s been a 72% increase in completion of Diploma courses by Aboriginal students.
“We know that education is incredibly important in helping close the gap,” says Elizabeth McGregor. “It’s equally powerful as a way to share cultures and to help achieve reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.”
Collaborative partnerships between North Coast Institute and many of the bigger local employers have led also to very successful local employment outcomes for Aboriginal students.
National Reconciliation Week runs every year from 27 May to 3 June, two dates that commemorate the biggest milestones on Australia’s reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 referendum and the 1992 High Court Mabo decision.
North Coast Institute marked the occasion with a BBQ lunch at its Wauchope Campus on Monday 28 May for staff, students and local business people. The celebrations included the unveiling of a special wall plaque (pictured) comprised of hand-crafted clay tiles made during Reconciliation Week last year.