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26/11/2019

Alumni Stories

A strength-based approach in the Kimberley

Sam Saunders Teacher School of Special Educational Needs ‘Most of the schools up here are Stronger Smarter schools so we all come from a common place and we all endorse those practices and high expectation leadership.’ Sam Saunders, Teacher Engagement Sam Saunders is a consultant teacher for the School of Special Educational Needs: Behaviour and Engagement based in Broome and works with schools across the Kimberley region.  Sam … Read More

26/11/2019

Alumni Stories

A collaborative teaching approach at St Augustines

Renee Matheson Principal St Augustine’s Parish Primary School ‘Stronger Smarter – it’s really about common language. It affirmed a lot of my feelings about teaching and education and it’s really about our students. If you’ve always got the students in your forefront, then nothing can go wrong for those kids’ Renee Matheson Renee Matheson has been the Principal of St Augustine’s … Read More

26/11/2019

Alumni Stories

High expectations at Lockhart State School

Evelyn Allard Teacher Lockhart State School ‘When I did Stronger Smarter and read Chris Sarra’s book, I felt like it really changed my life. I suddenly said “no, I’m not going to dumb down the curriculum. These kids are so smart I need to change my approach.’ Evelyn Allard Evelyn Allard was a teacher at Lockhart State School in Queensland when … Read More

17/05/2019

Alumni Stories

10 years of Academic Success Guaranteed at Cairns West State School

An interview with Matt Thompson If a kid’s sitting at home watching daytime TV or kicking a can down the road rather than coming to school, then we have to ask ‘What’s happening at this school?”  Matt Thompson, Principal, Whitfield State School Matt Thompson, the Principal of Whitfield State School in Cairns, undertook one of the very first Stronger Smarter … Read More

07/05/2019

Alumni Stories

Building relationships at Sacred Heart School, Beagle Bay

Sacred Heart School school, on the country of the Nyul Nyul people in the remote community of Beagle Bay, on the Kimberley coastline of Western Australia, caters for 90% Aboriginal students from Kindergarten to Year 10. Lyla Forte, the school’s Principal says the Stronger Smarter Leadership Program emphasied the need to aspire to quality relationships on a daily basis. “Unless … Read More

13/12/2018

SSA Toolkit

St Kieran’s Catholic School

Principal Claudine Dank, says the ideas that Stronger Smarter teaches are important to St Kieran’s Catholic School  with a 17% Indigenous student population and situated on the traditional lands of the Kalkadoon people at Mt Isa. Claudine says the Stronger Smarter Approach fits well with the school’s focus on embedding Indigenous culture. “We have already embedded lots of aspects of … Read More

27/08/2018

SSA Toolkit

Celebrating Indigenous culture at Coal Point Public School

“For me, it has made sure that I’m conscious, not only in my classroom, but within my stage that I’m setting high expectations for myself and staff and this filters down to the students, using the tools that Stronger Smarter provided.” (Kate Payne)  Kate Payne and Louise Groves, Assistant Principals  Yarning Circles in the classroom After undertaking the Stronger Smarter … Read More

27/08/2018

SSA Toolkit

Embedding Gunditjmara culture at Warrnambool Primary School

When Warrnambool Primary School Principal, Peter Auchettl, and teacher Jacqui Gore undertook the Stronger Smarter Leadership Program in 2013, they sat down to think about how to integrate the Stronger Smarter culture and ethos across the school. “First we needed to gather information,” Peter says.  “We found out about the local mob and the history and then we made a … Read More

07/05/2017

SSA Toolkit

Exploring cultural identity in Mount Isa

The kids today don’t know our culture.  So this is bringing their identity back and their tribes and where they fit in with people. Auntie Joan Marshall and Tina Butcher, Mount Isa Central State School Tina Butcher and Auntie Joan Marshall believe that making a difference for Aboriginal students in the Mount Isa area has to start from the ground … Read More

07/05/2017

SSA Toolkit

Building bridges at Bowraville Central School

Stronger Smarter gave me a lot more focus and better tools in embarking on conversations and setting up processes between people. That was the power in it Mal McFarlane, Bowraville Central School Mal McFarlane says that at Bowraville Central School, they are seeing some great improvements for their Aboriginal students.  “We have had some wonderful HSC results and we are … Read More

07/05/2017

SSA Toolkit

High-Expectations Relationships at Casino Public School

We’re really proud to be a Stronger Smarter school… The community ask us ‘what’s that eagle shirt you wear? Tell us about that’…they all know the eagle. Wendy King, Assistant Principal, Casino Public School Wendy’s story is told in collaboration with University of Queensland Social Science researcher Madeleine McGovern This is an edited version of Madeleine’s interview. I spoke to … Read More

16/03/2016

SSA Toolkit

Raising the profile of Indigenous student identity on the Gold Coast

“You’ll be successful in any context if you can build strong relationships from the get go. For me Stronger Smarter has been all about being able to connect with a diverse range of people and building relationships with those people regardless of their cultural background” Dave Hartley, Deputy Principal, Coomera Springs State School Dave Hartley is a Barunggam man with … Read More

27/01/2016

SSA Toolkit

A focus on Koorie Education at Northern Bay College

In 2015, the Northern Bay P-12 College Koorie Education Team, led by Carrie Tinning, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Coordinator, won the Victorian Education Excellence Award for Outstanding Koorie Education. “‘In the back of my mind I’m always thinking ‘how am I making these kids strong and smart’ Carrie Tinning, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Coordinator, Northern Bay … Read More

16/09/2015

SSA Toolkit

Implementing Stronger Smarter at Forbes North Public School

“The whole Stronger Smarter philosophy and approach underpins what we do for our kids in our school, whether they’re Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal” Steve McAlister, Principal, Forbes North Public School When Steve McAlister first heard about the Stronger Smarter Leadership Program, he didn’t think it would be relevant to him. At the time he was working in a small school with no … Read More

01/09/2015

SSA Toolkit

Ripples of change in a northern NSW coastal community

“I do believe we’ve come together a lot more since we started training at Stronger Smarter, and we get a lot of parents’ feedback saying that we are a school that really does understand community, and that they feel comfortable and welcome.” Michael Taylor, Principal, Casino West Public School With enough momentum, the smallest stone can propel ripples of change … Read More

31/08/2015

SSA Toolkit

Building high expectations at Ballina Public School

“I think the idea of High-Expectations Relationships and not colluding with low expectations is something that will be in the school forever.” Peter Flannery, Principal, Ballina Public School Ballina Public School’s Principal, Peter Flannery, describes what ‘Stronger Smarter’ would look like to anyone visiting his school on the New South Wales northern coast. “What you’d see is kids getting on … Read More

08/04/2015

SSA Toolkit

Improving outcomes for Koorie kids in Swan Hill

At Swan Hill Primary, we value the relationship between home and school. Research tells us that school is a place for building relationships with the whole family. – Janet Barnard Swan Hill Primary School, situated on the traditional lands of the Wemba Wemba people on the banks of the Murray River four hours from Melbourne, is a diverse learning hub of … Read More

08/04/2015

SSA Toolkit

A cultural shift at Aitkenvale State School

 ‘It’s important that we send the message loud and clear that we are a Stronger Smarter school, and that’s what we’re doing here. And it has been successful, there’s no doubt about it…’ – Judd Burgess   As the new Principal of Aitkenvale State School in North Queensland, Judd Burgess saw an opportunity to move the school forward by using Stronger … Read More

01/03/2013

SSA Toolkit

Book Review: Good Morning, Mr Sarra

By Peter King. Principal, Byron Bay High School; Leadership Program graduate 2011. “He does not believe, that does not live according to his belief”. Fuller 1732 If you ever doubted Chris Sarra’s courage or the strength of his conviction then you can refresh your memory by reading his autobiography “Good Morning Mr Sarra”. As a teenager Chris was more into … Read More

13/11/2012

SSA Toolkit

Summit 2012 Panel Discussion: High Expectations Relationships

  Panel members: Edie Wright – WA; Yolanda Coutts – Qld; Gail Barrow – WA; Lionel Bamblett – VIC; and John Bray – NT. Facilitated by: Dr Jeff McMullen, AM.