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Goodstart’s Peter Pilot-Wakaisu joins AERO's First Nations Expert Reference Group

Celebrating the achievement of our Torres Strait Islander Cultural Liaison

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Article by Emily Boland

Goodstart is celebrating the appointment of Torres Strait Islander Cultural Liaison Peter Pilot-Wakaisu to the First Nations Expert Reference Group established by the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO).

The First Nations Expert Reference Group is newly formed and made up entirely of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with backgrounds in education. The reference group will offer insights into practice and policy around the country, ensuring AERO's contribution to education research, policy and practices meet the needs of First Nations communities.

Peter, a Saisarem tribal member from Erub, said he was looking forward to sharing his insights as part of the group.

“I am quite thankful to be offered a position as a member of AERO's First Nations Expert Reference Group,” he said.

“This is an amazing opportunity to share the insights I have gained throughout my career to help inspire change and to play a role in guiding the future of First Nations education in Australia.”

Since joining Goodstart in 2021, Peter has been integral in deepening knowledge and understanding of Torres Strait Islander culture, history and achievements in the organisation. He has been instrumental in Goodstart’s partnership with the Ngurupai (Horn Island) community in the Torres Strait – with a shared goal to improve early childhood outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children through the formation of the Ngurupai Early Childhood Advisory Group.

Prior to joining Goodstart, Peter worked within Commonwealth Government Indigenous Affairs including community development, employment and education. He was previously Indigenous Affairs Advisor to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Program Manager – Community Development Program (CDP) for the Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council.

Peter is proud to be part of the First Nations Expert Reference Group to help enhance education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students around the country – all while continuing in his role as Torres Strait Islander Cultural Liaison at Goodstart.

Earlier this month, Peter was also a speaker at the  2024 ECA Reconciliation Symposium  in Canberra (Ngunnawal Country), as a panel member for a discussion on ‘Conversation on truth-telling – sharing lived experiences, reflections and hopes for the future’.

“I shared the history of the Torres Strait Islander people, the significant disruptions to our lifestyles and hopes for the future.  

“I am very proud to be able to share my story and my knowledge to help to create change for future generations.”

The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) is Australia's independent education evidence body. They conduct research and share knowledge to promote better educational outcomes for Australian children and young people.

You can learn more about Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) here.

To learn more about the ECA Symposium click here.  

Learn more about reconciliation at Goodstart here.

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