The Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated were delighted to host the Koorie Education Network – Post Compulsory State-Wide Conference at the Mantra, Preston on the 2nd of April.

It was an important gathering to discuss the current education climate, improvements and goals for Koorie learners across the state of Victoria.

Various contributors and speakers were present to share and discuss the work currently being undertaken in the pathway with insights from MP Gayle Tierney, Angela Singh from the Koorie Outcomes Division, Andrew Williamson from TAFE Victoria and Levi McKenzie-Kirkbright from Indigitek.

VAEAI President Aunty Geraldine Atkinson opened proceedings with a summary of Marrung, the education environment for Koorie learners, and communicated in the areas that have grown and the areas that require further improvement.

“Marrung is imperative for the continued success for the Koorie students our families and students. We have to ensure that the system is responsive in allowing our Koorie learners to get to the space that they desire to be,

“Education is the means to drive self-determination. We’ve got a lot more work to do in this area.” Said Aunty Geraldine

The Hon Gayle Tierney MP, the Minister for Training and Skills and the Minister for Higher Education addressed the audience on the role her department plays with the partnership that exists between VAEAI, Koorie communities and education in Victoria.

“There are many ways we can enhance the support of our Koorie learners.”

“Your work is fundamental to creating opportunities in the education pathway. I hope this conference inspires and and creates networking opportunities to share and learn.” Said Tierney

Angela Singh the Executive Director of the Koorie Outcomes Division, DET addressed the conference discussing education and Aboriginal affairs.

Angela highlighted some major progress that has been observed since the implementation of Marrung and the structures that are providing improvements across the education pathways.

“Are there other ways that we could measure success? It may not always be result based indicators. Aboriginal ways of learning and doing things need to be highlighted in training practices. We want to elevate this so It’s quite strong.”

“We are expecting a huge year for Koorie learners and we are really excited because we believe that VET is a key driver with Marrung.” Said Singh

The Executive Director of the Victorian TAFE Association Andrew Williamson relayed information on the VET sector and initiatives to assist Koorie learners to further their education and there was a presentation from Levi McKenzie-Kirkbright, the Operations Lead for Indigitek, which is an Aboriginal owned, led and operated charity dedicated to creating opportunities in the technology sector for Aboriginal communities across the country.

VAEAI were involved further in the panel discussion which involved Linc Yow Yeh from ACU, Simon from SuniTAFE and Wurreker Coordinator Phil Murray who discussed the current climate of higher learning and the pathway for Koorie learners from secondary school into higher training.

There were also several workshops highlighting initatives in the education pathway from VAEAI, Stand Up Collaboration and the VIEWS program. 

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