Mossman State School’s quest to close the gap between its Indigenous and non-Indigenous student attendance, engagement and achievement led to an 18-month consultation process with the Kuku Yalanji Elders, to bring the local Aboriginal language, Kuku Yalanji, to the school.

This saw the establishment of the Kuku Yalanji Language Advisory Group and signing of a historic language agreement between the school and the Kuku Yalanji people. To bring the co-designed program to life, Mossman State School received funding through our Fair Education program. The language project commenced in late 2018 and has Prep to Year 4 students being taught weekly by a Kuku Yalanji teacher, supported by a Kuku Yalanji Elder.

The project has proved so popular that the school has had to create three new classrooms to cater for the increase in enrolments to the school. The school’s principal has also noted that behaviour incidents have almost eradicated completely, and NAPLAN data shows that writing is now significantly ahead of the average for the region.

The project has been featured on ABC’s The Drum.