Australia’s education system, based in an entrenched deficit paradigm with increasing emphasis on standardisation, leaves little space for the strength-based, localised approaches needed for successful outcomes for Australia’s Indigenous Jarjums. This chapter describes a layered approach of radical governance where an Indigenous-led, not-for-profit institute is disrupting the status quo of current thinking, providing a viable alternative to the top-down, one-size-fits-all solutions generally favoured by the Australian education system.
When Indigenous Jarjums first start their education, they often arrive with a different world view or knowledge system to that of the Western schooling system. The Stronger Smarter Jarjums professional development programme supports Early Years educators to understand how a strength-based approach that recognises these tensions at the ‘cultural interface’ can create a rock-solid foundation for the Early Years. High-Expectations Relationships provides a model of school governance where the whole school community co-creates high-quality learning spaces where all Jarjums feel they belong and can become great learners. Extending this co-creation of power with families and communities and across organisations and sectors, Early Years educators can create seamless transitions through sectors of the Early Years, helping Jarjums negotiate the complexities of the cultural interface.