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Autonomy and strong female leadership key to success of Indigenous owned Murri School

Tess Ryan writes in The Conversation (15.6.17) about how, for the past 30 years, an Indigenous-owned and -controlled school in Brisbane has been quietly achieving results. The author outlines what the school board’s president says is behind its success.

‘In Indigenous education, we constantly hear bad news stories of children falling through gaps and schools unable to assist students who need the most help. As an Indigenous woman and researcher this affects me greatly, and to the general public, creates a malaise and apathy that disables any tangible solutions.

‘I’m currently working on a research project about how these negative stories impact on Indigenous education, and I am tired of seeing what doesn’t work. But there are positive stories of success in Indigenous education – stories that show there is great hope in the way Indigenous communities provide solutions for their children.

‘I’ve seen many positive and inspiring programs that show that things can be different. Isn’t it time that we focused on a successful story on Indigenous education, and ponder what lessons could be learnt from this?

‘The Aboriginal and Islander Community School (The Murri School) is a great example of a school working constructively for all of its children. For over 30 years, this independent school has been quietly achieving results. Growing from a small derelict building in inner city Brisbane, the school now resides in Brisbane’s south and is large enough to cater for their students.

‘The Murri School is focusing on the practicalities such as busses to get children to school, and using a holistic approach that gives families empowerment in school decision making.’

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