PALS is an initiative of the department which encourages Western Australian (WA) schools to develop projects that promote reconciliation in their local community. PALS is based on the core attributes of:
Partnership between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people based on trust, mutual respect and understanding;
Acceptance of and respect for diversity and valuing Aboriginal perspectives;
Learning more about each other, Aboriginal histories, languages and cultures; and how we can build strong partnerships with Aboriginal people;
Sharing a common journey towards healing and reconciliation.
PALS Funding Categories
PALS projects must focus on reconciliation and align with one or more of our six categories. In addition, an in class learning component is mandatory and must feature with your grant.
- Arts: Embracing traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art by exploring visual and performing art forms; engaging with Aboriginal people to share traditional knowledge, to learn and practice these art forms and to understand the role of art as a means of story-telling in Aboriginal culture.
- Community Relationships: Building collaborative, trusting and respectful relationships with Aboriginal students, families and communities; developing and maintaining sustainable partnerships between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal people across the entire school community.
- Connecting to Country and Culture: Exploring the strong spiritual connection between Aboriginal people and Country including the importance of land, caring for country and using natural resources in a sustainable manner; spending time on country; and learning about the historical and cultural significance of the school’s local area.
- History: Increasing staff and students' knowledge of Aboriginal histories and cultures, including understanding significant Aboriginal people, places or events; exploring the impacts of colonisation; understanding how historical events are relevant in a contemporary context in Australia’s journey towards reconciliation.
- Inclusive Environments: Creating learning environments that respect the cultures, languages and experiences of Aboriginal people; creating a physical space that enables students to learn in settings that are connected to local histories, cultures and languages; establishing initiatives and approaches that support the physical health and social and emotional wellbeing of students.
- Language: Increasing awareness and appreciation of local Aboriginal languages by exploring culture through storytelling, contemporary literature and written and visual resources; collaborating with local Aboriginal families and communities to appreciate the diversity and importance of Aboriginal languages within the school and broader community.
How much can I apply for?
In 2022, schools can apply to receive funding for a two year period (2022 and 2023) as follows:
- Tier 1: $1000 of funding assistance per year for two years (total $2000)
- Tier 2: $1500 of funding assistance per year for two-years (total $3000)
Please note: funding is shown exclusive of GST. The final payments will be GST inclusive.
Funding will be allocated until the application closing date or funds are expended.
Further information including payment release and eligibility requirements can be found in the PALS Program guidelines.
Resources to Review
When planning your PALS Project, consider referring to the PALS Resources available via the PALS program website page.
The resources include:
• PALS Planning Sheet, which identifies key elements to consider when planning and developing your project and provides a step by step framework;
• PALS Project Toolkit, which has been developed in partnership with, and is supported by the WA Department of Education, Catholic Education WA and Association of Independent Schools of WA. The Toolkit contains examples of projects schools have undertaken, and also many more;
• PALS Connecting to curriculum: Aboriginal cultures, histories and communities in the classroom is a guide to assist educators with establishing clear links to the WA Curriculum, Cross Curriculum Priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures; and Aboriginal Education Standards frameworks.
Acquitting PALS Funding
Does your school have an outstanding 2021 PALS Acquittal?
Who to Contact
Please contact the PALS Project Officer on (08) 6552 1657 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you require further assistance.