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AICS Support


The fourteen Aboriginal Independent Community Schools (AICS) of Western Australia provide tangible evidence of Indigenous Australians' commitment towards quality education. They are located in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Murchison, Goldfields and Great Southern area.

The schools are autonomous and do not operate as a system. They do, however, have many features in common and are involved in a range of cooperative initiatives. AISWA provides services to these schools in the form of consultancy and professional learning support, such as the AICS Conference held annually in Broome for principals, leaders, teachers and education assistants. 

Despite different histories and social settings, the common thread that connects these schools is that each has an Aboriginal governing body responsible for staffing, curriculum, school buildings, staff houses and financial accountability. Notwithstanding their obligations to comply with the State Education Act and national education policy principles, these schools are independent of government and belong to the communities they service.

Western Australia’s Aboriginal Independent Community Schools (AICS) emerged at a time of profound change in the way governments dealt with First Nations people. The 1967 constitutional change, which empowered the National Parliament to make laws for Indigenous Australians, paved the way for significant federal funds to support First Nations community development. This change coincided with aspirations by many First Nations people to move from congested settlements and to establish independent communities on their traditional lands.

The success story of these schools is in their capacity to deliver mainstream education in an environment where learning is nurtured by cultural identity, traditional language in many instances, and a sense of belonging to place. Vastly improved literacy results for students in these schools over the past decade are an obvious measure of their achievements. Harder to measure but evident, community well-being and social functioning is also an important product of these schools.


Jobs at AICS

Teaching jobs in Aboriginal schools are often available. Currently advertised positions for all AISWA member schools, including AICS, can be viewed at AISWA's listing of Jobs at Independent Schools.

If you are seeking a teaching job or principalship in an AICS you can submit this EoI form expressing a general interest in working in an AICS. 

This form can be distributed to all AICS or only those nominated by you (AISWA does not distribute these submissions to non-AICS members). Please note that all AISWA member schools are independent and perform their own employment functions. Once the form is submitted it is then up to the schools to make contact, dependent upon the vacancies they have available, or those which become available during the school year.

As per legal requirements, registration with the Teachers Registration Board of Western Australia (TRB), along with Police clearance and a Working With Children check is essential prior to acceptance of a position to teach in an Aboriginal Independent Community School.