Aboriginal Education

Our commitment to social justice calls us to recognise, appreciate and celebrate cultural diversity. A curriculum that is truly Australian provides opportunities for all students to develop knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal heritage, cultures and contemporary issues and spirituality and promote high expectations of Aboriginal students through quality teaching and learning opportunities.

St Patrick’s is committed to the creation of a school community characterised by acceptance, security, justice, happiness and an environment of growth. In order to provide a supportive learning environment for Aboriginal students, it is important to identify the factors which impact on learning and self-esteem and develop strategies to address the specific needs of these students in our school.

St Patrick’s participates in the annual Blessing of The Valley, which is held in August each year in the picturesque vineyard region. This includes a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony and Acknowledgement of Country followed by a liturgy and picnic lunch.


Educational achievements of Aboriginal students at St Patrick’s Cessnock are promoted by:

  • Embedding Aboriginal perspective in all aspects of curriculum
  • Ensuring we identify, name and acknowledge the traditional custodians of our land
  • Providing safe and supportive learning environments which enhance the self-esteem and cultural identity of Aboriginal students
  • Providing curriculum, teaching and assessment programs which are challenging, have high expectations and are culturally appropriate
  • Providing all Australian students with an understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional and contemporary cultures
  • Providing intensive literacy and numeracy support for Aboriginal students where needed
  • supporting staff to develop knowledge and understanding of the educational and cultural needs of Aboriginal students
  • Developing Individual Plans and Personalised Learning Plans for Aboriginal students
  • Strengthening relationships with Aboriginal families and the wider community and look for opportunities for reconciliation and acknowledgement.