The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration

The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration sets out a vision for a world class education system that encourages and supports every student to be the very best they can be, no matter where they live or what kind of learning challenges they may face.

Education Ministers have agreed on a new national declaration on education goals for all Australians. Known as the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration (the Declaration), it sets out the national vision for education and the commitment of Australian Governments to improving educational outcomes.

Mparntwe (pronounced M-ban tua) is the Arrernte name for Alice Springs. The Aboriginal Arrernte (pronounced arrunda) people are the traditional custodians of Alice Springs and the surrounding region.

Building on the success and impact of the 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, Ministers agreed that education should continue to promote excellence and equity and enable all Australians to become confident and creative individuals, successful learners, and active and informed community members.

The Declaration includes some significant changes to ensure Australia’s education system continues to provide the best opportunities for young Australians in a rapidly changing world. The Declaration places students at the centre of their education by emphasising the importance of meeting the individual needs of all learners, and outlines education’s role in supporting the wellbeing, mental health and resilience of young people.

Reflecting the changing nature of education, the economy and work, the refreshed goals articulate the knowledge and skills required for the 21st century, the importance of learning throughout life from early childhood onwards, and the need for effective transitions between all stages of learning.

Ministers acknowledged the challenge of meeting the declaration’s ambitious goals and committed to delivering on the eleven areas for action which include supporting educators, strengthening early childhood education, promoting world-class curriculum and assessment and specific actions for the primary, middle and senior years of school.

Through the Declaration, Australian Governments also renewed their commitment to celebrating and learning from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge and histories and ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are supported to imagine, discover and unlock their potential.

The Declaration was developed following extensive consultations around the country with young people, educators, education and training providers, parents, business and industry. The review received over 260 written submissions and over 900 people took part in consultation events and/or provided submissions.