What is the difference between high expectations and High-Expectations Relationships?

The concept of High-Expectations Relationships, as developed by Dr Chris Sarra, is a key strategy that many Stronger Smarter Leadership Program alumni have taken back to their schools and used to ensure shared understandings of high expectations across their school community. We were pleased to see the concept included in the AITSL discussion paper on Indigenous cultural competency in the … Read More



A Fairer Education System

Last year, Jesse King, our Digital Solutions Team Leader was asked to write on behalf of the Stronger Smarter Institute for the ABC. Jesse’s passion for education and desire to enact transformational change in the Australian educational system for Indigenous students is woven beautifully into his explanation of the challenges we face. In his article, King urges us to consider … Read More



Putting an Indigenous lens over the National Standards for Teachers

In the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, the focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is evident in only two of the standards:   1.4 – Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and  2.4 – Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. In the National School Improvement … Read More



The history of January 26th

While many relish the public holiday and various associated activities not everyone sees January 26th as a reason to celebrate (in fact the number of people choosing to celebrate it specifically are declining – if you trust media polls   Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people see the date as the beginning of the deliberate destruction of our people … Read More



Celebrating our first Teachers of STEM (ToSI) graduates

What is the Teachers of STEM Initiative? It is estimated that seventy-five percent of the fastest growing occupations now require Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills and knowledge (as reported by the Office of the Chief Scientist 2014). As noted in the report, students engaging with STEM education will develop in-demand skills that are relevant and highly valuable to … Read More


Media Releases

Media Release: Stronger Smarter Census 2020 – Initial Results

Results of the recent Stronger Smarter Institute Census show that Stronger Smarter alumni have an outstanding level of ongoing commitment to transforming Indigenous educational outcomes.    Stronger Smarter Institute, CEO, Dr John Davis said, “The results from alumni this year show the Stronger Smarter way of doing things becomes embedded into classroom practice.  The teachers who attend our programs show a … Read More



Census 2020 – Initial Insights

As the year draws to a close, we want to take the time to celebrate the wonderful work of our alumni. The results of our recent Stronger Smarter Alumni Census highlight that, despite the challenges all educators have faced this year, there continues to be an outstanding level of ongoing engagement and commitment towards transformation for Indigenous education. Our Census … Read More


Alumni Stories | News

Are my students ‘hungry to learn’?

Four school leaders in northern NSW describe how they have used strategies from the Stronger Smarter Specialists Program to deepen their understandings and skills to work with staff to build a culture of high expectations across their schools. Stronger Smarter facilitator Damian Bisogni has been talking to some of his colleagues in Ballina about how they are using the Stronger … Read More



Doing Things Differently

The Stronger Smarter Approach Framework  There has been so much written about what needs to happen for transformative change in Indigenous education, but very little about ‘how’ we can achieve this.  The Stronger Smarter Approach provides a framework to lead educators through the ‘how.’  With this framework, we believe we can rewrite the narrative of our schools to one of engagement, … Read More

The Stronger Smarter Approach Framework



Introducing the Stronger Smarter Approach

Our History   Since 2005, schools across the country have been implementing the Stronger Smarter Approach.  This began after the Institute’s founder, Dr Chris Sarra became the first Aboriginal principal of Cherbourg State School in the late 1990s.  Dr Sarra conceptualised the ‘strong and smart’ philosophy which challenged the whole school community to hold higher expectations for their children’s schooling and … Read More