Empowering Local Communities: Groote Archipelago Education Agreement Signed

The Groote Archipelago will have a new, independent boarding school and a bilingual curriculum as part of a locally-led education agreement signed with Anindilyakwa Traditional Owners.

The Education Implementation Plan is the fourth plan to be signed under the Groote Archipelago Local Decision Making Agreement, following the Housing; Economic Development; and Law, Justice and Rehabilitation Implementation Plans, signed in June 2019.

The nine-year Groote Archipelago Local Decision Making Agreement was signed in November 2018 by the Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Anindilyakwa Land Council representatives, Chairman Tony Wurramarrba, AO and CEO Mark Hewitt.

It sets out a path to transfer government service delivery to the Anindilyakwa people and their organisations, so delivery aligns with their community aspirations.

It is one of four Local Decision Making Agreements signed with Aboriginal organisations as part of the Territory Labor Government’s Local Decision Making Agenda. A further five Statements of Commitment to Local Decision Making Agreements have been signed.

The new Groote Archipelago Education Implementation Plan sets out the framework to transition decision making control from the Northern Territory Government to the Anindilyakwa people to assume responsibility for their schools with a single governance model for education in the region.

It includes:

  • Building an independent boarding school that is owned and operated by the newly established Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island Primary College Aboriginal Corporation (GEBIPCAC)
  • Implementing a bi-lingual curriculum at the boarding school and in Anindilyakwa community schools
  • Prioritising early childhood development and education as well as bilingual education for children aged 0-8
  • Establishing an ongoing program to develop and grow Anindilyakwa education workers to engage children who are not in school

The Groote Archipelago LDM Agreement can be found here: https://ldm.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/791317/groote-archipelago-ldm-agreement.pdf

As stated by Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Selena Uibo.

“The Territory Labor Government is delivering a key election commitment by returning decision making for Aboriginal communities to local people.

“The history of the Anindiliyakwa people on the Groote Archipelago stretches back tens of thousands of years and this new Education Implementation Plan will enable all those years of knowledge, language and wisdom to continue to be imparted as they have been for all that time through bilingual education and cultural learning.

“This is a significant step to a future for Groote Eylandt that is decided by the Anindiliyakwa people, for the Anindiliyakwa people, which will help culture and language to remain strong for generations to come.”

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