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Stronger Smarter Schools Project

Stronger Smarter leadership group

Widening Participation at UC is committed to developing strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with our school network. Widening Participation offers a range of resources to teachers and careers advisors to support their professional learning, particularly in supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to aspire to higher education.

Since 2010, UC has offered a range of workshops, professional learning conferences, and opportunities to participate in networking with Education faculties, researchers, and policy makers.

More information on programs is provided below.

Stronger Smarter Schools Project

The Stronger Smarter Schools Project was a joint initiative between UC and the Stronger Smarter Institute to deliver professional development to teachers from UC’s school network aimed at raising the educational outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The Project was funded by the Australian Government’s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) between 2013-2017.

The Stronger Smarter Leadership Program aims to challenge and support school and community leaders in their pursuit of educational excellence for all students. The program engages participants to develop and enhance their leadership capacity by:

  • Reflecting on whether beliefs and practices support a positive sense of student identity;
  • Understanding the importance of positive community leadership and the importance of high expectations relationships; and
  • Identifying and responding effectively to current leadership challenges.

The program equips participants to actively engage the school community so that everyone understands the importance of high expectations relationships and promotes positive identities and excellence in schools.

Undertaking the program requires a minimum one year commitment, including participation in a five day professional learning program, a two day follow up workshop and regular contact with institute staff.

“For something to have that impact on you after just seven days of training…well that’s what makes it the most valuable professional learning I’ve ever done”

Steve McAlister, Principal Forbes North Public School

Read Steve's story here.

How to Apply


While this program is no longer available through the University of Canberra, teachers can still apply for the Leadership Program directly through the Stronger Smarter Institute.

To apply for the Stronger Smarter Leadership Program please complete the online form at the Stronger Smarter website.

Please note: It is important that you seek support from your school executive and/or Principal before applying. By applying you are making a commitment to attend all program dates and plan to use your learnings from the program in your school or workplace.

For More Information

Please visit the Stronger Smarter website:

The University of Canberra recently hosted the NCSEHE Workshop on the provision of careers advice in rural and regional areas. Researchers and practitioners (including from UC’s Widening Participation team) presented case studies to assist in understanding the current challenges in this space.

Donna Shelley, Careers Adviser from valued school partner Bombala High School attended and provided a crucial insight to the challenges faced by regional schools in this environment, and the value gained by relationships with universities.

The University of Canberra is conducting research into aspirations and perceptions of STEM careers by students in rural and regional areas. Widening Participation partner schools have the opportunity to participate in this research by hosting focus groups with UC researchers and groups of students.

For more information contact: