Communities First

Great schools build pathways for Indigenous community engagement

Working in partnership with communities is crucial for improving the school outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. To be successful, a school’s engagement strategy need to involve the whole-school community and draw on culture and local strengths. 
Principals Australia Institute (PAI) is committed to help improve the educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Our Communities First Workshop has been designed to build whole-school capacity in engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to improve student outcomes. 
Designed for school leaders, teachers, staff and other members of the whole-school community, this half-day workshop will help you plan for developing partnerships effectively in your local school setting.
What will the workshop involve?
PAI’s Communities First Workshop will present specific strategies in developing partnerships that embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander involvement and culture. This face-to-face workshop will include discussion, planning, and group and individual activities. It will present:
  • Practical tools for getting to know and connecting with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities 
  • How to develop and implement a whole-school framework for effective school-community partnerships
  • Case studies from other schools, systems, states, and sectors
The Communities First Workshop will be integral to understanding the importance of Aboriginal culture, engaging with leaders, families, and the dynamics that bind these. 
Our facilitator
Geoff Harris recently retired following a successful 11 years as Principal of Balga Senior High School in Perth, Western Australia, a school of 620 students comprising 29% Aboriginal and 60% migrant students.
Geoff was brought up in a farming community in Western Australia and graduated as a Mathematics and Science Teacher from the University of WA in 1977. Serving in teaching and administrative positions in several country, regional and city schools with significant Aboriginal student populations during the last 39 years, Geoff has demonstrated his passion and ability to implement sustainable strategies, advancing the education and wellbeing of Aboriginal youth and community. 
At Balga Senior High School, Geoff, his team and community have established sustainable strategies and programs which connect, engage and progress achievement and wellbeing of students, community and staff. Outcomes such as substantial increases in Aboriginal attendance, school completion, participation and the establishment of Wadjak Northside Aboriginal Community Group Inc and Resource Centre through the School Community Education partnership have attracted extensive interest from schools and educators, nationally and globally.
Find out more
Download the brochure here. For more information about Communities First, please contact Principals Australia Institute on 08 8394 2100, or email us. Visit our Events Calendar to find a workshops near you.