Report on Future Directions for Secondary Education in the Northern Territory

Report on Future Directions for Secondary Education in the Northern Territory Report

  • Author(s): Gregor Ramsey , Greg Hill, MaryAnn Bin-Sallik,, Ian Falk, Neville Grady, Margaret Landrigan, Wendy Watterston, Rita Henry, Trish Hansen, Annette Jamieson, Liz Wauchope, Metta Young
  • Secondary Author(s): Ramsey, Gregor
  • Published: 2004
  • Publisher: Charles Darwin University, (Northern Territory) Department of Employment, Education and Training

Abstract: The review’s findings need to be considered in context. In many ways the Territory exhibits a heightened version of the social crises that most of the Western world is now experiencing in terms of disaffected youth, the changed nature of work and life choices, as well as the impacts of global digital communication and technology. As a small, isolated, relatively less affluent part of Australia having the highest proportion of Indigenous people in the country and with a greater cultural mix of people than any other jurisdiction, the Territory’s problems are more public and sharply defined than elsewhere. The review team heard many times that secondary education in the Northern Territory is in crisis, and while the team does not share that view over all, there are major issues that must be addressed, particularly those associated with secondary education for young Indigenous people in remote communities, and for those young people – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – whose needs are not being met by what is currently being offered in our regional and urban secondary schools. Much of the discussion in the report may seem negative. However, the review team met numerous young people for whom the education system is working very well, and for whom the future looks bright; it met many committed, caring staff in schools and offices all over the Territory who are working extremely hard in often challenging circumstances to deliver quality education services to the young people in Territory schools; it saw exciting, innovative and potentially ground-breaking solutions to these challenges being tried, new initiatives being tested; it met senior officers in education systems determined to work with parents and the community to improve the quality of educational services being offered on the ground and improve outcomes for all of the Territory’s young people. Even so, there are significant issues to be addressed. These will take substantial time, major effort, long term commitment, more effective use of current resources and some substantial additional resourcing from both the Territory and Commonwealth Governments, if the NT is to have a nationally competitive secondary education system that works for all its young people. It will also require openness to change on the part of all stakeholders. The NT Government will need to take the lead, but the Commonwealth must play a bigger and more integrated role in Territory education, particularly if the very serious issues in Indigenous education are to be addressed effectively. It is for Governments to provide the necessary policy framework and resources, for the Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) to provide leadership, drive and support for the proposed changes, and for the schools and their communities to focus on young people in new ways so that they can achieve effective, sustainable lives.

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Suggested Citation
Gregor Ramsey , Greg Hill, MaryAnn Bin-Sallik,, Ian Falk, Neville Grady, Margaret Landrigan, Wendy Watterston, Rita Henry, Trish Hansen, Annette Jamieson, Liz Wauchope, Metta Young, 2004, Report on Future Directions for Secondary Education in the Northern Territory, Report, viewed 16 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=5277.

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