QATSIF Students' Achievements

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Some confidential responses to interview questions about QATSIF

School staff and Indigenous community members interviewed in a significant majority of participating schools were of the opinion that the QATSIF scholarship program provided a level of financial support without which recipients would have found it difficult or impossible to attain a QCE qualification. Interviewees remarked that, apart from the important financial support that the scholarship program provided, it had significant effect in encouraging and supporting cultural pride and the solidarity and confidence of communal identity among recipients. Being awarded a QATSIF scholarship was also regarded as an achievement to be celebrated and emulated.

  • “Some of our kids wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for QATSIF. They come from large families and without QATSIF they wouldn’t be able to afford an education.” (Community Elder)
  • “[The scholarship program has] levelled the playing field. Our school attendance rates are higher and so too are our attainment rates. Without the ability to afford a number of incidental expenses, some students might have difficulty with fitting in to school environments.” (School Principal)
  • “QATSIF helps kids become part of the school culture, to engage with school and stay at school”. (Deputy Principal)
  • “We use it to celebrate their education. It’s an external motivator for our Year 10 students transitioning through to Year 11 and 12. And completion of senior secondary education could provide the impetus for undertaking further education.” (Deputy Principal)
  • “The scholarship takes the pressure off families financially. They now have better access to education and opportunities”. (Business Services Manager)
  • “QATSIF provides access to education and ensures our kids have every opportunity to undertake Certificate courses that they are interested in. It’s these courses that are keeping them at school and without the financial support of the scholarship, they would not make it through.” (Community Education Counsellor)
  • “It’s all about access to more choices and experiences. That’s what QATSIF provides for our kids.” (Community Education Counsellor)
  • “It’s the little things! Our kids now have all the uniforms – everyday, sporting and formal uniforms. This gives them a greater sense of belonging to our school community. Plus, they are not getting into trouble for uniform breaches which, as you know, can create a spiral and be a factor for disengagement.” (Community Education Counsellor)
  • “It raises expectations and supports students to have pride in their culture.” (Head of Department)

Most commonly, interviewees reported that there was a keen sense of pride in family members at their achievement in having successfully qualified for the QATSIF scholarship.

  • “QATSIF is driving my child’s education. No way would my boy finish without QATSIF, we just couldn’t afford it.” (QATSIF parent)
  • “I know my family are very proud of me. Mum talks me up to all my family and I know we don’t need to worry about the costs for my education.” (QATSIF student)
  • “They are proud and relieved as it takes the pressure off my parents financially. I can now choose subjects and certificate courses that I am interested in. It makes life easier.” (QATSIF Student)

SourceIndependent Evaluation of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Foundation - Final Evaluation Report by Black Swan Consulting (2017)