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Elizabeth Kupsch appointed New Director of First Nations Education at EREA Flexible

Rhiannon Clarke -

EREA Flexible Schools, the largest network of alternative schools in Australia, has appointed Waanyi-Gangalidda and Wankamadla woman, Elizabeth Kupsch, as Director of First Nations Education.

EREA Flexible Schools said Ms Kupsch's extensive background in education and Indigenous leadership equips her with a "profound understanding" of the challenges faced by First Nations students and how educational systems can either support or hinder their success.

Prior to joining EREA Flexible Schools, Ms Kupsch held esteemed positions at Reconciliation Australia, Brisbane Catholic Education, Stronger Smarter Institute, CSIRO, and Education Queensland.

A recently established position, the Director of First Nations Education, will offer strategic guidance, supervision, and counsel by establishing connections with First Nations individuals, communities, and interested parties.

As a member of the National Leadership Team, Ms Kupschwill ensure that the perspectives of First Nations are considered in all organisational choices and assist in executing the organisation's First Nations Education Framework.

Additionally, she will strive to promote cultural transformation and ongoing enhancement.

Ms Kupsch expressed her anticipation for the opportunity.

"We know that as a country we need to do better in creating a culturally safe and inclusive environment for our young people to thrive," she said.

"For me, this role is about empowering our educators to deliver a culturally safe and inclusive learning environment that is fully inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

"This process starts by listening to our First Nations community and implementing their ideas around truth-telling and embedding those into the fabric of what we teach at Flexis.

"If we do this, we can create an environment where our young people can thrive both inside and outside of our school gates."

EREA Flexible Schools chief executive Dr Matt Hawkins said Ms Kupsch would bring about substantial advancements not just to Flexis as an institution, but also to the realm of First Nations education on a larger scale.

"I am thrilled to welcome Liz to the Flexi community," he said.

"This role is something that we have intentionally devoted a great deal of time and resources to, listening to our First Nations staff and communities to ensure an authentic and meaningful process in which First Nations people have a significant voice within our organisation.

"This role is profoundly important to Flexis – over 30% of our young people identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, and we have a long history of being influenced by and integrating Indigenous perspectives, cultures and histories into our approach to education and learning.

"I am confident Liz's lived experience and proven commitment to supporting and encouraging First Nations students will be a huge asset to the Flexi community."

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