Education Minister Grace Grace will spend three days visiting some of Queensland’s most remote schools in the Torres Strait Islands to engage with local communities and discuss education issues.
Minister Grace will join Member for Cook Cynthia Lui to tour some of the 17 campuses of Tagai State College at Badu Island, Saibai Island, Thursday Island and Horn Island.
“It’s an honour to be heading to the beautiful Torres Strait Islands, especially during National Reconciliation Week (May 27-June 3),” Ms Grace said.
“We want all students to receive a world-class education, no matter where they live, so I’m looking forward to meeting the hard-working teachers and staff in these remote schools.
“I commend these communities on the way they work together to support the educational needs of their young people, with a focus on land and sea sciences, arts, language and culture.”
Ms Grace said encouraging student attendance was a focus for many remote schools.
“We’re seeing improvements in attendance across many campuses and it’s important that we continue to encourage all students to attend school, to ensure they are given the best possible start in life.”
As part of her trip, Ms Grace will inspect a new $500,000 tuckshop at the Badu Island campus and call in to the Badu Campus Kindergarten.
“I’m looking forward to visiting the kindy to see first-hand how we’re supporting early education in remote areas, ensuring we’re giving our children a great start to with an inter-agency approach.
“I’ll also speak to staff at the Thursday Island Secondary Campus and visit their new $1.15 million open-air multi-purpose hall.”
Ms Grace will visit an Indigenous Language Centre on Thursday Island, which is a hub for supporting the delivery of Torres Strait Islander languages curriculum across all college campuses.
Cook MP Cynthia Lui said ensuring our children have the best start to life through a quality education is paramount.
“There is a bright future in education for all Queensland children. With the right educational tools, I know children from communities throughout Cook can go far to achieve their goals and dreams,” Ms Lui said.
“I’m very passionate building strong communities and people, and it starts with access to good quality education.
“I admire and commend the hard work and dedication of our teachers and staff, who strive to continuously improve student attendance.”
Tagai State College Executive Principal Judy Ketchell said the local community was excited to be hosting Minister Grace.
“Having everyone working together to educate our children, is front and centre to the YUMI way of achieving success at Tagai State College,” Ms Ketchell said.
“We describe this teamwork by using the symbol known as ‘Gagar Tup’. This symbol refers to a spectacular natural phenomenon where sardines around Mer and Stephen Island swim together to form a ‘bait ball’ for unity, precision, protection and survival.
“By working together, every member of the group is supported just like in our schools where all our staff and students work together to achieve great outcomes.