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Our school

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Tagai State College is comprised of 17 campuses and an Executive Office. These 18 sites are located throughout the 48,000 square kilometres of the Torres Strait Islands in remote Far North Queensland.

Tagai State College is committed to providing high quality Kindergarten, school education and vocational education and training to the communities of the Torres Strait Nation. Our holistic programs and services are designed to respond to the academic, social, emotional, cultural and physical needs of every child.

About our College

The Torres Strait Islanders' Regional Education Council (TSIREC) was formed in 1981 as an educational advocacy body, representing the aspirations of the Torres Strait Region. TSIREC has continued to connect the Torres Strait community with key government officials for almost 30 years, providing strategic advice about major Education reforms and policy development.

The Queensland Government Department of Education assumed responsibility for education services across the Torres Strait in 1986. Between 1986 and 1991, state education services were expanded from Thursday Island to sixteen state schools and one secondary school across 15 islands.

In January 2007, the 17 state schools in the Torres Strait were amalgamated under one single college Tagai State College.  TSIREC and the 16 Torres Strait communities endorsed the new college, acknowledging the Government's commitment to improve learning outcomes for all students in the Torres Strait.

Since being formed in 2007, Tagai State College has responded to community expectations by implementing significant changes in the delivery of education in the Torres Strait. For example, Tagai State College has:

  • extended the provision of services from Prep to Year 12 to also include Kindergarten (for children aged 3.5-4.5 years) and vocational education and training through TAFE
  • established an organisational structure that recognises local expertise and emphasises long-term strategic planning and  support services which are responsive to the unique context of the Torres Strait
  • collaboratively developed a Language and Culture program with Elders and traditional language speakers, which ensures that traditional languages and cultural protocols, knowledges and skills are valued, honoured and taught to students
  • established a positive organisational culture founded on the "Yumi Way" of working together
  • developed a unique approach to school education, integrating the Torres Strait context in the delivery of the Australian Curriculum
  • emerged as a Centre of Excellence in Land and Sea Sciences and Torres Strait Arts, Language & Culture. 

The Executive

The Executive Principal leads of the college Executive team. Collectively, the Executive lead strategic college-wide portfolio areas, such as campus supervision, teaching and learning, student support services, infrastructure, sport, workforce strategy, governance and business services. The Executive set the strategic direction for the college in consultation with TSIREC, communities and the Department of Education, to improve learning for all students.

Heads of Campus

At each campus, a Head of Campus, equivalent to a Principal, leads the delivery of Kindergarten to Year 6 or Year 7 to 12 education. Heads of Campus report to a campus supervisor and are ultimately accountable to the Executive Principal.

Services and Support

Service and support teams provide expertise, capability development and coordination across the college in specialised areas. Service and support teams contribute to Tagai State College's organisational effectiveness and complement the work of campus supervisors in driving consistent, high quality practice in all campuses. Areas of service and support include:

  • Teaching and Learning Team, including curricululm specialists and pedagogy coaches
  • Student Support Services, including the Malu Os (Special Education) team, Guidance Officers and Speech Language Pathologist
  • Business Services Unit, including HR, Travel, WH&S, Facilities, Finance and ICT
  • Executive Services, including policy, communications, data analysis and administrative support.

About our Name

In 2006, Torres Strait Islanders' Regional Education Council (TSIREC) commissioned a series of consultation meetings to name the new college located in the Torres Strait. 

In discussions about what the new college might be named, the late Elder, Athe Walter Nona of Badu Island, proposed the name, 'Tagai', from a legend commonly known by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the region.

In January 2007, 'Tagai State College' became the official name of the newly formed college.

The legendary figure, Tagai, is now a constellation in the southern sky, traditionally referred to by the ocean-faring people of the region for navigation. Tagai is also described by Elders as the 'heavenly clock'. Tagai directs the seasonal changes and his visibility in the night sky throughout the year tells Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the region how to adapt to the wind and tidal movements, and the best times to hunt, fish, plant and harvest. The Southern Cross is easily recognisable in the star formation that represents Tagai's left hand that is holding his spear. In his right hand, Tagai is holding the branch of the red-skinned fruit, known as 'sorbi'.

Like the constellation, Tagai State College is a collection of individual entities that make up the whole college. Each campus is equally unique and important.

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Last reviewed 18 February 2021
Last updated 18 February 2021