Queensland's Gladstone West State School has been recognised for their effective implementation of the Central Queensland University's Buraligim Weiber program.
The Buraligim Weiber program provides Year Four Indigenous students with the opportunity to directly experience science alongside experts in their respective fields, including First Nations peoples.
Launched in 2021 by the STEM Central team at Central Queensland University (CQU), the Buraligim Weiber program aims to enhance the participation, understanding, and attendance of First Nations students from the Gladstone region in STEM-related activities.
Through the program, students are able to engage with scientists, join citizen science groups that address sustainability issues, and develop an awareness and interest in STEM careers.
Gladstone West's recognition came as part of the recently held Showcase – Celebrating equity and excellence across state education dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
This year, the Showcase event introduced new categories that align with the Queensland Department of Education's Equity and Excellence strategy.
These categories highlight schools that have made significant improvements in student outcomes, performance, educational achievements, wellbeing and engagement, as well as culture and inclusion.
In addition, due to their exceptional accomplishments, Gladstone West State School who have been participating in the Buraligim Weiber program received a substantial grant of $20,000.
Gladstone West State School acting principal, Sarah Jacob, expressed her pride in the Buraligim Weiber initiative and the school's efforts to assist Indigenous students.
"To receive the Showcase acknowledgement of the incredible work and dedication of our team is an absolute honour," she said.
Associate Professor Linda Pfeiffer, the Lead of CQU STEM Central, said the program serves as a remarkable illustration of various organisations uniting to provide support for the young First Nations individuals in the Gladstone region.
"It is an honour and a privilege to be a part of this program in partnership with Gladstone West State School and Australia Pacific LNG, operated downstream by ConocoPhillips," she said.
"I am very proud to work in the local community and change the lives of the students out in the regions."
Queensland Minister for Education Grace Grace congratulated all the showcased schools for their work and for achieving recognition through the state's most prestigious program for state school education.
"Each of these nine schools should be incredibly proud of their efforts to enhance students' learning experiences and advance Queensland's future, through equity and excellence," Minister Grace said.
For the Gladstone West State School, monetary assistance can be employed in a variety of ways, such as promoting cooperation and exchanging knowledge with other schools, or enhancing their current programs and endeavours.