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My teaching career in indigenous education began in the Torres Strait on Horn Island.  Living and working on Ngurapai proved an excellent opportunity to cater for the complexities of ESL learners and be grateful for the hospitality and generosity of Horn Island people.  I decided after a few years to �head south� which in effect, was 40 km south to the Northern Peninsula Area to what is now known as the N.P.A. College.  Working within the three Aboriginal and two Torres Strait communities of the N.P.A. further highlighted the importance of effective transition between primary and secondary schooling. 


My next step was to further develop my leadership skills with Chris Sarra at Cherbourg State School.  I worked for two years in various leadership capacities with Chris prior to the establishment of the Cherbourg Institute of Leadership so that I could return to the Cape and perhaps take on a leadership role.  Working at Cherbourg was a turning point for me both philosophically in my approaches to indigenous education and professionally.  I was fortunate to be at Cherbourg some six years prior to the school �turning the corner� and could see the difference the staff team had made. After visiting quite a few communities on the West Coast in 2004 my partner Charlotte and I decided Aurukun was the community for us.  We have loved working and living in Aurukun due to the warmth and friendliness of the people, the beauty of the country, the Western Cape College pool of expertise/ support and the �high bar of expectations� established by our staff team in 2005.



As Deputy of Aurukun Campus, I am responsible for ensuring our students achieve academic and social outcomes that are comparable to any other school in Queensland. It is my job to create, support and lead a staff team that will continually question the status quo and push the boundries of established norms within approaches to engaging community participation, student attendance and effective curriculum and PD delivery.  My ultimate purpose is to ensure that our students successfully transition up to the Weipa Campus or out to boarding schools throughout the state.  I am very well supported by Aurukun Head of Campus, Richard Barry. 

Click here for up to date information on Aurukun Campus strategic directions


Current Focus

School Transition

  • Completly overhaul all concepts underpinning transition including: college strategic direction, campus strategic direction, review current transition program to Weipa Campus and start process of physical visits in Term 3, reentry, Weipa hostel and boarding schools around the state.  Target at least three visits to Weipa campus in term 4 stressing the need to immerse students in routines, expected behaviours, hostel living, relationship building with 2006 year 7 teachers etc.


School Attendance/ Positive Community Engagement

  • Work with our attendance team to constantly review current strategies and pilot other programs.  Term 3 has historically proven to have very low attendance.  A number of new initiatives have begun to rectify this ie. Twice weekly celebration parades under the mango trees, establishment of a Campus P&C, weekly newsletter, wall of best individual student attendance on eight locations around the town, daily school attendance barometer at town shop, two full time staff members, in addition to myself, prioritised to visit homes and run strategies, accurate and case by case data gathering to dispel possible myth of out on country during the dry season, working in real partnerships with justice group, health centre, art centre, HACC, police and council, real community driven grassroots engagement as opposed to passivity, establish a cultural dance team, Wik language signage around the school etc.    


Systems Leadership Aurukun Campus Teams

  • Mentor and review recommendations made by our four team leaders chosen to drive our systems leadership teams � Curriculum and Pedagogy, Buildings and Facilities, Policies and Procedures and  Social Issues and Staff Welfare.



  • Ensuring the effective delivery of suite one and two of the New Basics curriculum.
  • Pilot language methodologies underpinning ESL acquisition � speech bandscales, explicit grammar/guided reading focus Literacy/ numeracy ability grouping blocks, PD of key persons on staff to  lead in these areas.
  • Effective utilisation of Aurukun campus expertise in these areas as well as college expertise.
  • Better align our 2006 depth studies and rich tasks with the college timelines to ensure �cross campus� sharing of expertise.
  • Improve our results in the 3, 5,7 reading writing and numeracy testing through the teaching of the testing genre and test readiness of our students.
  • Be continually vigilant that every aspect of our curriculum development is underpinned by New Basics. 
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