Indigenous Education Workers in Lismore Diocese benefit from training collaboration

Eleven Indigenous Education Workers employed at schools in the Lismore Diocese have completed a Skill Set in Educational School Based Support (Inclusion) thanks to a collaboration between the John Henry Institute (JHI) and the Catholic Schools Office (CSO).

Natasha Murphy, Manager of JHI based in Port Macquarie, says the success of the collaboration highlights the importance the CSO places on cultural belonging and inclusion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in schools within the diocese.

“The nationally accredited Skill Set in Educational School Based Support focused on Inclusion and was ideal for Indigenous Education Workers (IEWs) seeking to upgrade their skills, knowledge and general capability in inclusive practices and activities to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in schools,” said Natasha.

“For many of the participating Indigenous Education Workers it was their first opportunity to participate in accredited training.”

“The fully funded training, and its content, was authentically endorsed by Indigenous Elder Aunty Doreen with a range of culturally sensitive resources embedded into the learning.”

“After five months of intensive study, it was really gratifying to see these students successfully complete the Skill Set training in late November 2022.”

“Since then a further three students have completed the full Certificate III Education School Based Support through Recognition of Prior Learning, which is exciting!” added Natasha.

The training was delivered via a blended approach which included a face to face orientation, weekly workshops via Zoom, learning packs and personal support from Natasha (who was their trainer) via emails, phone and school visits to support successful learning outcomes.

Lauren Doostaon with trainer Natasha Murphy, Manager of the John Henry Institute.

The Skill Set included four accredited units from the qualification CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Educational Support:

  • CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
  • CHCEDS048 Work with students in need of additional support
  • CHCPRP001 Develop and maintain networks and collaborative partnerships
  • HLTWHS001 Participate in workplace health and safety

Participants named many highlights in their end of study feedback surveys including the opportunity to network with other IEWs, share resources, stories and the opportunity to undertake learning to enhance their own career goals and more importantly, support outcomes in inclusion for students.

The group also identified the desire for more training in 2023 in areas such as Literacy, Numeracy, Additional Needs, and leadership training.

For more information about training opportunities offered by JHI please visit their website at

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