PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

Narragunnawali Online: Your School's RAP 01 06 16

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education


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I trust you. Do you trust me? Let's Hug

This resource is something you might consider using after the Acknowledgement of Country to strengthen the message of reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

I trust you. Do you trust me? Let's Hug

Pulteney Grammar School Case Study for Reconciliation SA

The Reconciliation SA Education Steering Committee has collaborated with Pulteney Grammar School and the AISSA to develop a case study approach that captures a whole school methodology to reconciliation. Through a series of seven vignettes, school leaders explore the philosophy and pedagogy that has transformed their school’s thinking and learning about the Australian constitution through the lens of reconciliation. 

Case Study: Early Years philosophy and pedagogy into practice

The early years’ vignettes highlight teaching strategies within a Reggio Emilia philosophy that embed into daily practice, Aboriginal and Torres Islander histories and cultures. The vignettes demonstrate that very young children can engage in deep learning about complex, abstract concepts concerning justice, governance and recognition.

Early Years Vignettes

Whole School Thinking 1

The Principal of Pulteney, Anne Dunstan, and Head of Kurrajong, Virginia Evans, emphasise the importance of a strong vision for reconciliation.

Whole School Thinking 2
Teacher leaders Briony Franklin and Janice Copeland highlight that honouring Aboriginal peoples is fundamental to true Australian citizenship.

Community and Citizenship
Australian Citizenship involves reconciliation.

Connection to Land
Aboriginal peoples have a deep spiritual connection to the land and learning about Aboriginal cultures is more authentic for children in a natural environment.

Symbolic Writing
Ancient Aboriginal symbols empower very young Australian citizens to communicate in a written form.

Thinking and Learning in Kaurna
Learning an Aboriginal language provides a deep insight into an Aboriginal culture which fosters respect and reconciliation.

Reconciliation
Learning emerges from the children’s questions about reconciliation and providing opportunities for deep thinking.

Invitation: Future Case Studies
The AISSA invites schools interested in a being part of a case study to highlight whole school methodology and pedagogical practices that build a culture of of reconciliation in the Primary, Middle or Secondary context to contact Monica Williams williamsm@ais.sa.edu.au, 08 8179 1417

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Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country

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When people come together, they greet each other as a sign of acknowledgement and respect.

The Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country play important roles in acknowledging and respecting Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

They are integral parts of recognising that our First People's histories and cultures have been in existence for more than 55,000 years and that they are alive and of significance today.

While they may all no longer necessarily be the title-holders to land, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are still connected to the Country of their ancestors and most consider themselves the custodians or caretakers of their land.

A Welcome to Country is a ceremony performed by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander custodians or traditional owners of that country, to welcome visitors to the land of their language group. It can take many different forms depending on the culture of the traditional owners. It is usually delivered by an Elder, but can be delivered by another person. It may include singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies or a speech in the traditional language or English.

Every time a formal Welcome to Country is given it continues a long tradition that has been an important part of Australian culture with the exception of a recent lapse of about 200 years. It was always given by way of welcome when permission was granted to visit the Country of a different language group.

An Acknowledgement of Country is a way of showing awareness of and respect for the traditional Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander owners of the land on which a meeting or event is being held. It recognises the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to their Country.

An Acknowledgement of Country can be made by either an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who is not a custodian of the land, or a non Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person.

Acknowledgement of Country contains the following key concepts:

  • Acknowledgement of traditional custodians
  • Traditional lands
  • Paying of respect to Elders past and present

For educators wishing to learn more, Reconciliation SA provides additional information and resources about the Welcome to Country and the Acknowledgement of Country.

Contact details: Monica Williams williamsm@ais.sa.edu.au 08 8179 1417

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Indigenous Secondary Student Mentor Program

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From 2015 until the end of 2017, the AISSA will work with SA Independent schools to affirm and support Indigenous secondary students through providing a student mentoring program.

The Indigenous Secondary Student Mentor Program strives to provide Indigenous students with relevant and engaging mentoring support, allowing them to grow and develop as they continue their education. The program aims to encourage social and emotional well-being, identity development and contribute towards positive educational outcomes and post-secondary school learning opportunities.

The mentoring is provided at no cost to students and parents. The program will take place during each school term and will comprise 1-1 mentoring, small group peer mentoring and e-mentoring, as well as opportunities for geographical cluster student meetings. Upon enrolment, students can be involved in the mentoring program up to the end of 2017. The program will be flexible and contextual in its approach to best accommodate the needs of the students and will work in collaboration with school staff, families and students using a strengths-based approach.

The AISSA Mentor is Justin Wilkey, proud Aboriginal man with family connections to the Ngarrindjeri peoples of the Lower Murray River. Justin's professional background has involved many roles in working with young people; a teacher, disability support case manager and youth worker. He also has a communication background and has spent time working at the ABC as a multi-media journalist.

Contact details: Justin Wilkey wilkeyj@ais.sa.edu.au 08 8179 1437

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Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning Centres

Reconciliation Action Plans

Reconciliation is about building better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the benefit of all Australians. Through reconciliation, we will be part of creating an Australian culture that acknowledges and deeply respects Australia's First Peoples as a fundamental part of our identity as a nation.

Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning is designed to support early learning centres, primary and secondary schools in Australia to develop environments that foster a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions. The Narragunnawali website gives you access to curriculum resources, professional learning support and guidance to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan.

A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a declaration of commitment and action to promote reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian community. Narragunnawali RAPs are created through an online platform designed to guide teachers and educators through the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan specifically designed for your school or early learning centre.

The documentation of the RAP can be completed in one day and then be electronically lodged on Narragunnawali, the Reconciliation Australia website for school RAPs.

An AISSA Educational Consultant can support school leaders and key teachers through the process of creating a school based RAP and provide insights that facilitate best practice in:

  • implementing the RAP and
  • maintaining the momentum required to make a RAP meaningful and sustainable.

Contact details: Monica Williams williamsm@ais.sa.edu.au  08 8179 1417

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures are foundational to what makes Australia unique in the world. We have an opportunity now, to foster pride in Australia's First Peoples by the way we integrate their perspectives into our students' learning.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have over 55,000 years of histories in Australia and today their cultures and communities are strong and diverse. As the world's oldest living cultures and Australia's First Peoples, there are exciting ways to weave this important knowledge into the curriculum.

The Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority recognises two distinct needs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can see that their cultures and identities are valued and recognised in the curriculum of each learning area
  • All students contribute to reconciliation through recognising, respecting and learning more about Australia's First Peoples.

Resources for teaching and learning can be found at Reconciliation SA, Reconciliation Australia and Recognise.

Contact details: Monica Williams williamsm@ais.sa.edu.au  08 8179 1417

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