A local report on an Aboriginal art program and its positive impact on the community from the Moree Champion:

The Aboriginal art program being run from the Moree TAFE is having a hugely positive effect on school students.

The students came into the program after chequered histories at their previous schools.

The students are helped in the classroom by local Aboriginal elders, a group of positive, healthy role models from whom they seek inspiration and guidance.

In this classroom everyone is treated as an equal, staff uniforms are very similar to student uniforms and there is a clear policy against either students or teachers raising their voices at each other.

The program was designed for years five to 10, although is currently catering for students in years five to eight.

The benefits are clear when attendance rates are examined, some students who would otherwise struggle to attend more than 50 per cent of school classes have a regular attendance of close to 100 per cent.

The benefits to staff are also noteworthy, usually teaching students with behavioural issues would take its toll, but the staff members at the school are happy and have near impeccable attendance ratings themselves.