National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy, 1989

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy aims to improve the availability, responsiveness and effectiveness of education services as a means of achieving equity of access to and participation in education, and equitable and appropriate educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In 1988 the Australian Government established an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy Taskforce (chaired by Paul Hughes) with a view to developing a comprehensive long-term approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education policy.

In October 1988, following the report of the Taskforce, the then Federal Minister for Employment, Education and Training announced that a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy would be jointly developed by the states and territories and the Commonwealth during 1989.

As a joint statement of goals, the National Policy forms the basis for co-operation and collaboration between educational institutions, states and territories, and the Commonwealth, in association with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

These are long-term goals to guide the development of agreed educational strategies for meeting the different educational needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the states and territories.

Over time, state, territory and Australian Government Education Ministers have developed a number of frameworks for implementing the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy including the National Strategy for the Education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 1996–2002, Australian Directions in Indigenous Education 2005–2008, and most recently, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010–2014.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy, 1989