Alumni News Articles

Northern Territory school welcomes Australian of the Year Mick Dodson

23 April 2009

The Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson has taken Australian of the Year Mick Dodson back to his old stomping ground as part of a national tour aimed at getting every Australian child in school by next year.

Professor Dodson visited Ngukurr School and Katherine High School.

Mr Henderson said both schools had introduced initiatives to keep children and their families engaged with learning and education.

"The greatest challenge to education is to ensure students are enrolled, that they're learning and come out the other side being able to contribute to society," he said.

"I want every Territory child to reach their full potential. If kids don't go to school they miss out on so many opportunities.

"We've set a standard of at least 90% attendance rates in all Territory schools to ensure we're giving kids every chance to advance.

"As of March this year, NT Government schools were achieving attendance rates of just over 82% on average."

The initiatives to encourage school attendance at Ngukurr include a no school no pool policy and home visits to parents of truants.

Katherine High School is home to a Clontarf Academy, which is a successful program with a focus on school attendance, academic achievement and football. The school also has an Indigenous girls' leadership program with a strong emphasis on school attendance.

"My Government is committed to improving school attendance rates, and I'm proud to have shown Professor Dodson some of the initiatives in place to meet that commitment," Mr Henderson said.