Principals Australia Institute board chair Susan Lenehan, WDHS primary deputy principal Robyn Willey, Minister for School Education Peter Garrett and WDHS AIEO Gloria Bliss at the presentation ceremony in Canberra last week. Wagin District High School (WDHS) AIEO Gloria Bliss and primary deputy principal Robyn Willey with some of the students involved in the banner project, Elaine Williams, Maddison Wallam and Declan Hayward.
WAGIN District High School (WDHS) was recently awarded a prestigious Dare to Lead Award, which recognises schools that demonstrate excellence in Indigenous education.
Primary deputy principal Robyn Willey and school AIEO Gloria Bliss travelled to Canberra last week, where they were presented with the award by Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth Peter Garrett.
“We were really excited to be presented with the award,” Ms Willey said.
“The award recognises the work done over a number of years and it represents a whole school effort and strong community partnerships.”
Ms Willey travelled to Canberra last Thursday with school Mrs Bliss, where they presented a PowerPoint presentation of their submission.
The two women also took a selection of banners that Mrs Bliss and some of her students have been working on, which represent the six Noongar seasonal cycles from the students’ perspective.
These banners are part of a local government project and will eventually be hung along the main street of Wagin.
Dare to Lead is a Commonwealth-funded national project, with a focus on improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students.
Only seven schools nationwide were recognised for their achievements this year, with WDHS awarded one of the four top prizes of $5000, which will be put towards Aboriginal education programs within the school.
Mr Garrett congratulated the recipients of the Dare to Lead Awards at the Canberra ceremony and said the awards recognised schools which had close ties with local Indigenous communities, showed exemplary leadership and had improved results among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
“These schools are fantastic examples of the positive changes that can be made in schools through high quality teaching and strong community engagement,” he said.
Starting in 2000, Dare to Lead is now in its fourth phase, with more than 5000 Australian schools currently signed on as coalition members.