Connecting 65,000 years of indigenous knowledge with contemporary education practice

Indigenous education and research centre

The IERC plays a pivotal role as a Centre of Excellence within the SSA system to support the successful delivery of the unique model of teaching and learning across the Studio Schools.

"The IERC is a place for Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators to develop a new way of delivering education for knowledge and understanding for life that works. Informed by deep listening, content, culture and environments and Indigenous knowledge systems, the IERC connects ancient wisdom with contemporary knowledge”

June Oscar AO

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Board Member of SSA

“We strive for excellence and consistency because all children deserve nothing less”

Tanya Davies

Associate Director of the IERC

“The IERC connects 65,000 years of Indigenous knowledge with contemporary educational practice”

Helen Drennen AM

Chief Executive of SSA

Staff Development

Professional development including cultural inductions and professional learning

Quality Assurance

in the delivery of the educational framework and its assessment on the ground across all schools in the system


in best practice in Indigenous education


A shared ssa resource

The IERC supports all Studio Schools in the delivery of the program of learning on-country.

Research led

The IERC is a research-led institute grounded in cross-cultural learning, and in partnership with Indigenous leaders, universities and business, is focussed on student engagement, learning progressions, job readiness training and pathways to employment.

The IERC supports placements with university faculties of education to train teachers for SSA and beyond. Trainee teachers at Australian universities are supported to learn through courses and on-country activities as service offerings.


The IERC methodology recognises and articulates a number of key recommendations of the 2018 Through Growth to Achievement Report, including community engagement, evidenced-based teaching and continuous scholarship, planning for individual learning needs, student and staff mentoring, continuous professional learning, self-review and external quality assurance.


The IERC provides co-designed and co-delivered Cultural Induction Frameworks for all staff, professional learning programs across the year, and builds pathways for employment and further training, with a particular focus on supporting and growing Indigenous staff.

The IERC respects and incorporates Indigenous knowledge and cultural practices into its programs, curricula and operations.

Innovative model

This innovative and leading model of on-country, research-based professional development for teachers is distinct in the Australian context.

The programs and services are also offered to international cohorts, with a particular focus on targeting jurisdictions interested in cross-cultural learning.

This avenue of international crosscultural, two-way learning further enriches the Studio Schools model and its evidence-based methods.