Edmund Rice Education Australia Flexible Schools, the largest national network of alternative schools in Australia, has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Elizabeth Kupsch as its inaugural director of First Nations education.
Ms Kupsch is a Waanyi-Gangalidda and Wankamadla woman who has held several senior leadership positions with organisations such as Reconciliation Australia, Brisbane Catholic Education, Stronger Smarter Institute, CSIRO and Education Queensland.
With qualifications in both education and Indigenous leadership, Ms Kupsch brings to EREA Flexible Schools a deep knowledge, skills and understanding of how First Nations students experience education and how systems can and have enhanced or inhibited their life outcomes.
A newly created role, the director of First Nations education will provide strategic leadership, oversight and advice through building relationships with First Nations peoples, communities, and stakeholders.
EREA Flexible Schools chief Dr Matt Hawkins said the new role was “profoundly important” as more than 30 per cent of young people at the schools identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders.
Ms Kupsch said she was looking forward to the challenge in what is a pivotal time for Australia.
“We know that as a country we need to do better in creating a culturally safe and inclusive environment for our young people to thrive. For me, this role is about empowering our educators to lead with strength-based approaches while fostering relationships to deliver a culturally safe and inclusive learning environment that is fully inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures,” she said.
For more information about EREA Flexible Schools, head to www.ereafsn.edu.au.