Henbury School again vies for awards


The annual Northern Territory Disability Services and Inclusion Awards promote careers in the disability workforce, and individuals, services, businesses and programs making outstanding contributions to people with a disability.

Henbury School teacher Amanda Thomas is a candidate in the Emerging Leader category, and the Henbury Learning Precinct is a contender in the Excellence in Improving Learning and Development category.

The school caters for years 7 to 12 students with mild to severe intellectual disabilities.

Assistant Principal Lauren Hofmeyer said Amanda Thomas assisted student Learning Commissioners in an 18-month school improvement program based on surveys and interviews.

“The Commissioners are the student voice of the school, and Amanda’s leadership has helped these students grow in assurance, enabling them to speak at our assemblies and share their work with other schools' commissioners,” she said.

“She is also our Meaningful Maths [MM} coach — teaching number knowledge through number identification, sequences and basic number facts — and a coordinator in the Darwin and Palmerston MM schools’ network.

“And since 2018 she has voluntarily coached Banks All Abilities netball sides of boys and girls with a disability.

“She has doubled the number of teams in the competition, and regularly umpires games.”

The Henbury Learning Precinct is a transition to work program comprising the Henbury Opportunity Knocks Op Shop and the award-winning Henbury on Aralia Café.

Principal Sarah Corry said the Nightcliff site offers students “customised work skills’ development in both enterprises”.

“The students use the precinct to become job ready, contribute to their Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training, and the Vocation Education and Training in Schools certificates.

“It provides students with paid employment, and bolsters their self-assurance and resilience as they move into supported post-school and work environments.”

In 2019, Henbury on Aralia collected an Excellence in Innovation award and an Overall Award for Excellence, and the school’s Skill Set Program was Highly Commended.

The award presentations, beginning 6 pm Saturday 6 November at the Darwin Convention Centre, will also be livestreamed.

The visual communications board - an 18-month project of the school’s Learning Commissioners - helps students who find self-expression difficult.

The Learning Commissioners (front row, left to right) Shawn, Enrique, Marcus, Aidan, Ryan, Tanika and Jeanie, with teacher Amanda Thomas (back row, left to right) Keanu, Agnus, Roanin, Ethan and Cloe, with Principal Sarah Corry.

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