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  What Works - The Work Program

Icon Note

Promoting Aboriginal Leadership in Schools (PALS)

The following notes are adapted from a presentation by Jo-Anne Fahey.


  • PALS is a program run jointly by Campbelltown City Council, the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and the Department of Education and Training.
  • The main role of PALS is to promote Aboriginal leadership and give Aboriginal kids a voice in the schools.
  • At the same time, it is intended to motivate students to participate in school activities and prepare for the world beyond school.
  • In 2003, nine schools were targeted across the Campbelltown, Liverpool, Fairfield and Bankstown Districts.
  • Schools each selected four students to participate.
  • Criteria for selection were Aboriginality and identified potential leadership qualities.

Benefits for students

  • increased self-confidence;
  • self-motivation;
  • engagement in learning;
  • increased participation in school-based leadership programs;
  • reduced absenteeism;
  • improved outcomes; and
  • retention at school.

Benefits for school and community

  • improved communication between home and school;
  • improved partnerships and access;
  • student empowerment and development of networks;
  • student-led change; and
  • increased participation in 'Youth Councils' by Aboriginal students.

The road ahead (Term 4, 2003)

  • School Initiative Evaluation; and
  • Student Award Nights at regional and school level (organised by PALS students).

The road ahead (2004 and beyond)

  • induction of new student leaders and ongoing training;
  • development of a 'Junior AECG';
  • linking with business, including
    • business mentoring;
    • workshops with successful business leaders and visits to successful enterprises;
    • workshops with local and State government leaders, visits to centres of government; and
    • links with the Aboriginal Careers Aspiration Program (ACAP).

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