Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement


​​​We actively recognise and support our 165 students who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. We acknowledge that adolescence can be a challenging time in a young person's life. Similarly, we acknowledge that emotional and physical wellbeing are critical factors in the teaching and learning process. We seek to support students to balance the stresses or barriers to learning so that they can be an active member of the school community.

Community Links

The school collaborates with local community organisations and government initiatives to encourage cultural engagement, personal development and to deliver opportunities for students beyond the classroom.

Our partnerships include:

Deadly Choices Program

The Deadly Choices Education Program is a health education and capacity development program aimed at supporting students to be positive role models and mentors for their family, peer group, and community by leading a healthy lifestyle. The Deadly Choices team run various programs on school grounds throughout the year, targeted at specific groups of students.

deadly-choices.jpgFor more information visit the Deadly Choices website

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS)

atsichs-logo.jpgATSICHS provide a diverse range of health and ancillary services to more than 12,000 clients throughout the greater Brisbane and Logan areas. Students are encouraged to receive an annual health check. Primary health care is provided through their medical clinics, however, each term a doctor visits the school to conduct scheduled health checks for identified families. For this to take place, a parent/caregiver must be in attendance.

For more information visit the ATSICHS website.

ARTIE Academy

ARTIE (Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education) Academy runs in partnership with the FOGS (Former Origin Greats). The Academy’s vision is to improve educational outcomes for both male and female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Using innovative approaches, the Academy aims to create high expectations for effort, behaviour, achievement and commitment. 


Our ARTIE Coordinator, Joe Kadel, is a Kalkadoon man from Mt Isa. Joe comes to us having worked for a number of years as a First Nations Teacher-Aide at St Patrick's College, as well as a Pathways Advisor most recently for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, where he spent time working with First Nations students on their post school aspirations. Joe is passionate about creating positive pathways for our students through education, which has ultimately led him to this role with the ARTIE Academy. Joe is looking forward to starting his journey with Marsden State School.

Joe is based at Marsden State School each Wednesday and Thursday. He consistently encourages, rewards and informs students of opportunities in a concentrated effort to 'Close the Gap' in educational outcomes between First Nations and non-First Nations​ students. All First Nations students are provided with the opportunity to be a part of this program with consent from a parent/caregiver. We host term launches where group attendance goals are set, as well as individualised goals for targeted students. Rewards and recognition afternoons are held at the closure of each term. 

Semester Two each year sees the opportunity for many First Nations​ students to be provided with additional in class tutoring by University of Queensland Education students. This extra support comes as part of ARTIES partnership with UQ, and is very much welcomed at our school. 

For your child to participate in the ARTIE Academy program an ARTIE Permission Form​​ must be completed.

Joe Kadel can be emailed at: 

For more information visit the ARTIE website

Solid Pathways Program

The Solid Pathways is an online critical and creative thinking program for high-achieving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who have performed in the top two bands in Year 3 NAPLAN for numeracy and reading.

The Solid Pathways program offers enrolled students weekly online lessons that develop life-long skills to support them across all curriculum areas. Lessons align with the Australian Curriculum and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures Cross-curriculum priority. The Program aims to raise students' expectations of themselves as learners.

Regular attendance in the online lessons is crucial to support students' developmental progression.

For more information visit the Solid Pathways website​.

Last reviewed 17 March 2023
Last updated 17 March 2023