Position Koorie Education Manager
Organisation Department of Education and Training
Location Benalla, VIC
Debra is a Torres Strait Islander from North Queensland and has worked in the North Eastern Victoria Region education sector for the past 10 years. Her career began in building the capability and supports to Aboriginal staff through a workforce reform period to influence how their roles can increase better engagement of Aboriginal students and families in schools. Through this journey, her interests grew in the area of people development and empowerment in cultural responsiveness. As Manager of Koorie Education, her oversight of the implementation of the Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan across her region increased her opportunities to lead in culturally responsive practices for both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal education workforces to create mutual understanding between peers to promote cultural understanding. She strives to build capability in the education executive, school leadership and service providers to facilitate relationships and strong partnerships with Aboriginal peak bodies and communities to establish their voice in the decision making on education issues affecting their communities. She is passionate about improving cultural understanding to improve how early years providers and schools respond to the learning needs of Aboriginal children and the education of all Australians about First Nations people. Debra hopes that she can make a difference to create a common ground of best practice and sustainability in a whole of region service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in education.