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The Indigenous Language Teaching Assistant, Juan teaches Kuku Yalanji at Mossman State School and in this Illustration shares his language expertise with students and colleagues. The school has implemented a language program to increase students’ knowledge and proficiency of Kuku Yalanji. Juan describes the impact of the language program on building students’ confidence and identity, and how the program is supporting a shared community goal of embedding Kuku Yalanji within the community.

Mossman State School is a government primary school located on the land of the Kuku Yalanji people in Far North Queensland, about an hour north of Cairns. The school has around 230 enrolled students and has a strong focus on working with parents, carers and the community. In 2019 the school received a Queensland Department of Education Showcase Award for excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.

  • How might you work with the local Indigenous community to increase opportunities to students to develop an understanding of and respect for Indigenous histories, cultures and languages?
  • How do you work with other staff, including paraprofessionals (e.g. teaching assistants) or community members, to plan and deliver effective learning programs?