Department of Education

Institute for Professional LearningFor School Leaders ‹ Leading a Culturally Responsive School

Leading a Culturally Responsive School

About the program

Leading a Culturally Responsive School is intended for all school principals.

Culturally responsive schools create welcoming and supportive learning environments that respect the cultures, languages, experiences and world views of their Aboriginal students. They have a holistic approach to working with Aboriginal students.

This can be achieved through concerted and coordinated action at the school level.

Leading a Culturally Responsive School aims to provide principals with a greater awareness of Western Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and how to translate this awareness into culturally responsive actions in their schools to enhance outcomes for all students.

Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on approaches to Aboriginal education in their school and the implementation of the Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework.

The framework, to be implemented in schools in 2017, provides a structure for all staff to reflect on their practices and identify opportunities for improved action to build on existing knowledge and skills. The goal is to ensure Aboriginal students are confident and successful learners who complete their schooling with the knowledge and skills to access further education, training and employment.


Learning intention

By the end of this workshop you and your leadership team will have:

  • engaged in ethical decision making activities to clarify the leaders role and understand the responsibility in improving the quality of school leadership and teaching and learning for all students and staff
  • an understanding of the achievement of AITSL principal standards in the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, parents and the community
  • gained insights from school leaders on a whole school vision and strategic planning with reference to the Cross-Curriculum Priorities, General Capabilities, WA Curriculum Outline, Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework and English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) capabilities
  • planned for the implementation of  the Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework as a clear statement of expected practice and behaviour in schools and communities to increase Aboriginal student achievement and drive improvement planning.

Success criteria

As a result of this workshop you will be able to:

  • provide leadership to staff, parents and the community in building a culturally responsive school
  • lead staff in establishing practices that create a welcoming environment for all students that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture

  • encourages achievement among Aboriginal students

  • implement the Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework to increase Aboriginal student achievement.

Who will benefit?

This workshop is designed for school leaders.

Participant expectations

Participants will develop a deeper understanding in leadership approaches in creating culturally responsive school and approaches to the implementation of the Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework.


About the facilitators

Paulina Motlop, Director, Aboriginal Teaching and Learning
Professor Motlop is particularly focused on having high expectations for Aboriginal students and the importance of teachers developing cultural competency to help Aboriginal students succeed.
Julie Carlson, Consultant Principal, Leadership, Institute for Professional Learning
Julie Carlson is a consultant principal at the Institute for Professional Learning. Julie has been a Principal in schools and has held varying roles in regional centres and in the Department. As a leader of a large Independent Public School, she knows first-hand the exciting opportunities and responsibility faced by school leaders.

Julie's background includes leading curriculum in isolated, regional and metropolitan locations. Julie's involvement and passion in Aboriginal education began as a newly appointed graduate to Balgo Hills Aboriginal Community. Julie has been instrumental in the design of this exciting and forward thinking professional learning.


Alignment to professional standards

Leading a Culturally Responsive School is specifically aligned with the following key professional practices from the Australian Professional Standard for Principals

  • Developing self and others
  • Leading teaching and learning
  • Leading improvement, innovation and change
  • Leading the management of a school
  • Engaging and working with community.

    One-day workshop

    16 November 2017



    Register now for
    Leading a Culturally
    Responsive School

    Watch Cally Jetta, Aboriginal
    Education Coordinator,
    Coodanup Community College
    speak at TEDx Perth 2016

Back to top


Day Date Time
Thursday 16 November 2017 8.30am - 4.00pm






Institute for Professional Learning   
Building B
164-194 Oxford Street

Back to top

On the day

  • Programs start at 8.30am. Tea and coffee are available from 7.45am.
  • Business dress is required.
  • Morning tea and lunch are provided.
  • Wifi connection is available


The Institute for Professional Learning is located in Building B at 164-194 Oxford Street, Leederville WA. We co-locate with the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE).



Please note the Institute does not have on-site parking available:

  • The City of Vincent has a number of car parks throughout Leederville.
  • The closest long term paid parking is available on the south side of The Avenue Car Park on Leederville Parade.
  • Short term paid parking (two hour) is available in adjacent streets.
  • The City of Vincent offers a 'pay by phone' parking service.
  • The Institute is a two minute walk from Leederville train station.
  • Taxis service the site promptly.
  • Cycle racks are located outside Building F at the Institute.

Download the Institute map and parking information.

Back to top

How to enrol


Further information

Please contact the Institute for Professional Learning on 1300 610 801 or email


Leading a Culturally Responsive School

All contents copyright Government of Western Australia, unless otherwise stated.

Copyright material available on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence
Exclusions may apply: