Our Vision

On 29 November 1986, proclaimed that “the Church of Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until [the Aboriginal people of Australia] have made [their] contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others”. [1]

More recently, Pope Francis has called us to “respond with honesty and integrity to the challenge of proclaiming the radicalism of the Gospel in a society which has grown comfortable with social exclusion, polarisation and scandalous inequality”. [2]

In relation to Aboriginal children and young people, Pope Francis challenges us to seek answers to “the marginalisation, exclusion and impoverishment that condemns millions of young people, especially youths from the original peoples.” [3]

While there have been some encouraging improvements in the educational outcomes of Aboriginal children and young people, much more needs to be done to close the gap.

Catholic Schools New South Wales supports the vision set out in the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration as well as the National Aboriginal Education Strategy (2015) that:

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people achieve their full learning potential, are empowered to shape their own futures, and are supported to embrace their culture and identity as Australia’s First Nations peoples. [4]

What will be our indicators of success?

As stated in our CSNSW Aboriginal Strategy 2020-2025, by 2025, in partnership with Catholic School Agencies, our commitment is to see an increase:

  • in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enrolments
  • an increase in the overall retention of Aboriginal students
  • an increase in the proportion of Aboriginal students making successful transitions to post-schooling pathways and into employment
  • an increase in the proportion of Aboriginal students achieving the minimum national numeracy and literacy standard
  • an increase in the proportion of Aboriginal students in the top two bands in all NAPLAN domains

We commit to:

  • a decrease in the proportion of Aboriginal students in the bottom two bands in all NAPLAN domains.
  • improved wellbeing outcomes of Aboriginal students
  • an increased knowledge and understanding of the histories, cultures and experiences of Aboriginal people as the First Peoples of Australia.

How will we do it?

We will ensure the active participation of Aboriginal peoples in our work, including through:

We will work in close partnership with Catholic School Agencies and others including:

We will take a multidisciplinary and cross-functional approach involving all Catholic Schools New South Wales teams, including:

  • Educational Measurement
  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Early Years Learning
  • Wellbeing
  • Vocational Education and Training
  • Diverse Learning
  • Teacher Accreditation and Professional Learning
  • Schools Resources
  • Data and Analytics



1 Vatican (1986). Address of John Paul II to the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in Blatherskite Park. Alice
Springs, 29 November 1986.

2 Catholic News Agency (2015).Pope Francissees’ powerful missionary potential’ in Philippines. January 12, 2015. Accessed 14 June 2020:https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-sees-powerful-missionary-

3 Catholic News Service (2019). Take charge of your roots, culture, pope tells indigenous youths. 18 January 2019.
Accessed 14 June 2020: https://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2019/take-charge-of-your-roots-culture-pope-tells-indigenous-youths.cfm

4 COAG Education Council(2015). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy. Accessed 14 June 2020: