Sally is a non-Indigenous woman who for the past 20 years, has worked exclusively with both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities within the Education context. Early career positions within the Torres Strait in various specialist teacher roles with Tagai College, lay a strong foundation for Sally’s ongoing work with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on the mainland. She has continued to work collaboratively with our communities through various roles; Director of Thursday Island Child Care Centre, Early Years teacher, Acting Principal of an Environmental Education Centre, Project Officer (Indigenous Playgroups, Gifted and Talented Programs), Academic Lecturer, Researcher, Published Author, Executive Producer (My Island Home Project) and as Manager for Indigenous Education (DET – North Coast Region).
As Manager for Indigenous Education, Sally’s high level professional and personal practice made significant contributions to the Queensland Indigenous Education landscape. Throughout this time she influenced many State strategies and programs. In particular, the work Sally led and contributed to over the past 12 years with the Aboriginal community at Cherbourg and their Ration Shed Museum is of significance. Sally has been instrumental in writing National Curriculum aligned resources that support Elders and the community to embed their story within classrooms throughout Queensland. Her writing has received special commendation from the Minister for Education, the Honourable Kate Jones, for her work “The Boys from Barambah” – the Story of the Black Diggers from Cherbourg for the ANZAC 100 Commemorations. Sally has just completed the landmark series Our Land, Our Stories from AIATSIS and Nelson Cengage
Sally’s work demonstrates a deep and genuine passion and respect for culture, Elders and the community. Her work collaboratively identifies opportunities which support communities to share their culture and embed their story within the National Curriculum and the broader Education context. In 2020, Sally was a part of the Kids in Action team that won the partnerships category for the 2020 Queensland Reconcilaition Awards.
In August, 2020, Sally and the team behind Our Land, Our Stories won the Best Primary Student Resource – Arts/Science/Humanities/Social Sciences/Technologies/Health and Physical Education/Languages and Outstanding Primary Student Resource at the Educational Publishing Australia Awards 2020
Sally is the daughter of Richard Johnston (Kangaroo Point, Brisbane) and Lesley Hansen (Hughenden).