In the late 1990s, when Dr Chris Sarra became the first Aboriginal principal of Cherbourg State School, he challenged the whole school community to have High-Expectations Relationships with his students. The ‘Strong and Smart’ approach developed in Cherbourg is now used in schools across the country to embrace a strong and positive sense of what it means to be Aboriginal in contemporary Australian society.

This success led to the formation of the Stronger Smarter Institute (formerly known as the Indigenous Education Leadership Institute) in 2005. The Institute began as an innovative partnership between Education Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology, moving to an independent not-for-profit organisation in 2013.
From a starting point in 2006 of two Stronger Smarter Leadership Programs per year in Cherbourg, the Institute now delivers a range of face-to-face and online programs to participants across the country. Each year, the Institute is privileged to return to Wakka Wakka country to deliver our flagship Cherbourg Stronger Smarter Leadership Program at the first-class Ration Shed conference facility. We thank and honour the women and men of the Cherbourg community and especially the tireless workers at the Ration Shed Precinct for their partnership and support.