Person, Sitting, Wood, School

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First Nations Communities

We honour the past in recognition of First Nations peoples and their contribution to education since time immemorial. We are committed to addressing disparity in education and employment between First Nations and non-First Nations peoples. We imagine a future where all come to respect, reflect, connect, and embrace the richness of the First Nations peoples’ histories, cultures, languages and spiritualities. 

First Nations Communities

Our Schools are situated on the land of many First Nations clan groups, spanning from Waibeni (Thursday Island) in the Torres Strait, in and around the Cairns area, west to the Atherton Tablelands and south to Innisfail and Tully on the Cassowary Coast. 

First Nations Clan Map 

The region has one of the highest First Nations populations in the country, making up 54 per cent of the Far North Queensland population according to the 2016 Census, with many descendants of the traditional owners of our land, seas and waterways still living in and around our region. 

With almost 1200 First Nations students enrolled across the Cairns Diocese’s Catholic schools and colleges representing almost 11 per cent of total enrolments, our schools recognise and celebrate the unique gift, history, culture and spirituality that First Nations students and their families bring to school communities.

Positive relationships between staff and families are fostered by building awareness and appreciation of First Nations histories and cultures.  

Teaching in First Nations Communities is Rewarding

When you choose to work in these communities, you can experience and celebrate the cultural diversity of our region. 

Our schools and colleges with greater numbers of First Nations students in their communities are:

Becoming a First Nations Teacher 

As part of our Reconciliation Action Plan, Catholic Education Cairns is committed to increasing employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Scholarships are available for eligible applicants and all graduate teachers receive ongoing support through our graduate teacher support program