Department of Education

Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal Education

AIEO skills

Skills of effective AIEOs

Principals have identified the following important skills for effective AIEOs.

Response Typical examples
Communication Good communication skills at all levels – teacher, parent and student
Confidence to interact with people
Community knowledge and links to it Extensive knowledge of the local community
Effective communication between school and homes
Literacy and numeracy Basic/sound/good literacy and numeracy
Interpersonal skills Good interpersonal skills
Work ethic Good work ethic
Teamwork/collaboration Ability to work as a team with staff
Collaboration skills
Fulfilling the role Capacity to provide academic assistance to students who are in need
A broad appreciation of the context of the role in relation to school/community needs
Knowledge of school operation/policies Basic understanding of the way schools function
Knowledge of the Department of Education policies and procedures
Other skills and knowledge Strong behaviour management skills
Mediation/conflict resolution
Rapport/experience with children Ability to work with children
Rapport with children
Personal qualities Enthusiasm, initiative, diplomacy, resilience (to survive the disturbing aspects of the job)
Organisational skills Organisational skills
Time management skills
Learning issues and outcomes Have an understanding of how students learn
Interest in improving skills, knowledge, understanding about schooling
IT skills Basic computer skills
Qualifications and experience Have completed some form of study in child care, education or Cert II, III, IV
Good general education assistant abilities
Liaison/relationship building Ability to form relationships
Ability to liaise with most families
Trainability Be self-motivated and independent learners
Willingness to acquire skills
Confidentiality Ability to keep information private and support students in their learning
Other Knowledge of outside agencies that can assist Aboriginal families and referral processes
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Linking roles, skills and training

AIEOs reported a wide range of tasks in their work. These are ordered from the most frequently mentioned to the least. Each role is linked to the skills that will help the AIEO to perform the role effectively, and an indication of possible training that AIEOs can take to develop those skills.

Role Skills, knowledge and attributes Education and training
Working with individual students or small groups Literacy and numeracy skills
Instructional skills
Interpersonal skills
School completion
TAFE, university
Parent community liaison and parent-family support in child’s education Community links
Communication skills
Professional learning at regional office, school
Teacher-student communication Bilingual fluency: English and community language Acquisition of English
Fluency in community dialect
Student absence follow-up Communication skills and diplomacy
Knowledge of school processes
School professional learning
Cultural activities Cultural competence
Organisational skills
Immersion in local culture, online learning
Walk Right In resource
Aboriginal Perspectives Across the Curriculum resource
School level professional learning
Resolving student-family-school issues Communication skills School completion
School level
TAFE courses
Institute for Professional Learning
Organising parent involvement Knowledge of school processes
Community links
School level
Reading to students Literacy skills School completion
School level
TAFE or university learning
Community interaction (liaison with other agencies) Knowledge of agencies
Communication skills
School level
Cultural identity, Aboriginal studies Cultural knowledge
Organisational skills
Immersion in community and culture, online resources
Aboriginal Perspectives Across the Curriculum resource
Our Story – cultural awareness resource
Managing student behaviour Relationships with students
Knowledge of school processes
School professional learning
Institute for Professional Learning
Correcting students’ work Literacy and numeracy skills School completion
School professional learning
TAFE and university courses
Field trips and camps Organisational skills School level
Helping with language development Language and literacy skills School completion
School professional learning
TAFE and university courses
Other areas (music, art, sport) Knowledge of relevant fields On the job training
School professional learning
Institute for Professional Learning
Administrative tasks Computer literacy
Knowledge of administrative processes
School professional learning
TAFE courses
Walk Right In resource
Breakfast/lunch club Organisational skills On the job training
Walk Right In resource
Arranging student work displays Organisational skills On the job training
Administering tests Knowledge of school systems On the job training
School level
After school activities Organisational skills
Links to the community
On the job training
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Reflect on your skills

This is a reflective tool that enables AIEOs to rate their skills against the list.

Print out the following checklist and complete it.
Give yourself a score out of five for each item, using the following scale as a guide.

  1. Not competent in this area
  2. Limited; improvement needed
  3. Good
  4. Very good
  5. Outstanding
Skill Score 5
Communication skills  
Community knowledge  
Links to the community  
Literacy and numeracy  
Interpersonal skills  
Work ethic  
Teamwork and collaboration skills  
Knowledge of school operations and policies  
Rapport and experience with children  
Personal qualities such as enthusiasm, initiative and diplomacy  
Organisational skills  
Knowledge of how children learn  
Information technology skills  
Formal qualifications  
Extensive experience in the job  

If you rated yourself less than three in any skill area, you could seek additional professional learning to increase your skill level. It may provide a focus for your employee performance management and should be considered in conjunction with your job description [Sign In].

If you score four or five for skills, then these are your strengths and you should look for ways to use and build on these skills in your job. You may like to revisit this checklist from time to time and reflect on how you might continue to develop your skills.

AIEO skills

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