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Koorie Engagement Support Officers (KESOs)

Koorie Engagement Support Officers (KESOs) are an important support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children engaging with early learning and beyond. KESOs provide advice to early childhood education and care (ECEC) services about culturally inclusive learning environments and support educational engagement and improved outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.


KESOs engage and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families, communities, teachers and early learning settings to make a child's journey into learning a positive one.

KESOs can start supporting a child from the time they are eligible for kinder.

If you are working with a Koorie child, consider engaging with a Koorie Pre-School Assistant to further support the child's engagement in formal education.

What you can get

KESOs are members of their local Aboriginal community with an understanding of Aboriginal culture and the history of their community. KESOs work in many different ways, bringing families, communities, education and service providers together to support children to engage safely and confidently with their learning.

KESO’s support is unique to each child, family and service they are working with, however support can include:  

  • Enhancing educators practice to create culturally supportive and responsive learning environments for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and families.
  • Supporting the development of high expectations and individualised learning for Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander students.
  • Creating a learning environment for all students that acknowledges, respects and values Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander cultures and identities.
  • Supporting key transition moment such as entry into kinder and transition into primary school.

How to access

If you are working with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, ask the ECEC service if they are engaged with a KESO to support their learning.

Contact the Koorie Education Coordinator in your region if you are supporting an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child and:

  • have concerns about the cultural safety of their ECEC service
  • the family and child are disengaging from their ECEC service
  • the child is transitioning into primary school
  • you believe the child and family would benefit from additional learning support.


The Department of Education and Training has multiple resources available to support Koorie children and their families engage with formal learning, including:

  • The Marrung strategy ensures that all Koorie Victorians achieve their learning aspirations.

VAEAI and the Victorian Inclusion Agency’s resource ‘Walking Together’ provides suggestions and resources for professionals to embed culturally safe practice in their work. It can also be used with parents and carers of Aboriginal children.

VAEAI’s guide, ‘Protocols for Koorie education in Victorian Early Childhood Centres’ offers guidance on appropriate protocols for ECEC centres.