Improving the outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

The challenge

In the last 200 years of colonisation Indigenous children have experienced inequities that have had an enormous impact on their success in the education system.

In late 2019 the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office commissioned researchers from Deakin University, Centre for Research for Educational Impact (REDI), and the University of Tasmania, Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment, to conduct research on how to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students within Catholic Education Tasmania (CET). A specific focus was on the Student Success Grant initiative which involved some schools receiving additional funding from the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office to achieve such improved outcomes.


Project overview

The research involved a literature review, survey of school/community leaders from 22 schools, analysis of CET student data; case studies with 10 schools; and collaborative experiences in leadership workshops.


The research found deep commitment of CET staff to supporting the learning and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and evidence of successful work in relation to cultural responsiveness and well-being for students; improved knowledge and awareness for staff; and connection with community organisations. The research also found significant diversity in views and actions within CET, and uncertainty among staff about what good practice looked like and how to collaborate with community partners.

Analysis of the literature found ten supports that promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student success.

Project report

Project team

Associate Professor Joanne O’Mara
Professor Julianne Moss
Associate Professor Tim Corcoran
Associate Professor Glenn Auld

Research Partners

Deakin University

University of Tasmania


Catholic Education Tasmania

2021: $61,227

2020: $42,867


2020 -2021


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, Catholic education