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First Nations education advisory group announced to draw from expertise and into policy

Jarred Cross -

First Nations education is set to be bolstered by a 250-plus person advisory group to offer insight into practice and policy around the country.

Nominations to the First Nations Expert Reference Group established by the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) are open for people working across all wings of the sector.

The group will be made up entirely of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from education backgrounds; kindergarten to year 12, early childhood, research and policy makers, peak bodies and non-for-profits, language preservation and social and emotional well being.

AERO principal advisor of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategy and engagement Sally Cooper told National Indigenous Times the ERG hopes to cover "intersectionality within education" across 12 key "pillars" with understanding of community and their needs from remote to urban areas.

"What we aren't seeing at the moment, is that true representation from very remote through to urban," she said.

The ERG would have input to each piece of research from AERO, before developing into policy at the jurisdictional level.

The 250-plus members will be made up of 12 groups of around 30 catering to a specific area.

"It can be either broad, or it can really be brought down into a certain area of expertise," Ms Cooper said.

AERO chief executive Dr Jenny Donovan said the First Nations Expert Reference Group "will play a huge role" in improving curriculum implementation, community engagement policy development "and beyond".

"Reference group members will also help ensure the quality evidence we make available to teachers, educators, leaders and policymakers is always reviewed from a First Nations perspective," Dr Donovan said.

Body members will take part in quarterly meetings, to discuss 'initiatives, strategies and progress', per AERO's website, and be remunerated for their work.

Applications are open until November 20, with an ERG announcement before the year of 2023.

Online Q and A sessions are running November 10 and 16.

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