Aboriginal Immersion Program (13-19 August 2023)
The 2023 East Arnhem Land Aboriginal Immersion Program is from 13-19 August. This successful program is in its 4th year and is offered in partnership with Culture College and the Association of Independent Schools NSW.
The Aboriginal Cultural Immersion Program aims to bring together current and aspiring School Leaders and educators to experience first-hand the uniqueness of Aboriginal culture.
This program will provide opportunities to deepen your understanding of Australia’s First Peoples, the oldest living cultures in the world. This will empower you to lead with greater insight the reconciliation initiatives in your community and broaden your understanding of the ways that First Nations’ perspectives can be integrated into teaching and learning.
Significantly, the program contributes to providing the Yolngu people of East Arnhem Land with an economically sustainable way of maintaining their culture on their Homelands and builds true reconciliation through two-way learning.
This opportunity is open to all educators in SA Independent schools. Schools are welcome to extend this invitation to a small number of secondary students.
The indicative cost is $5,150.00 per person (GST inclusive). This includes return airfares (Adelaide to Gove (Nhulunbuy)), accommodation, meals, morning and afternoon teas, permits, camping equipment, transport to and from the Homeland by 4WD, local Yolngu guides, airport transfers to and from Gove and all Cultural Exchange Program activities and equipment.
Expressions of Interest and Registration
For more information, please contact Kate Mount (ph: 8179 1443).
- It’s a RAP
Date: 21 March 2023 Time: 9.00am – 12.30pm Venue: AISSA Office
Date: 5 September 2023 Time: 9.00am – 12.30pm Venue: AISSA Office
- Creating Culturally Safe Classrooms and Schools
Date: 16 May 2023 Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm Venue: AISSA Office
Date: 1 August 2023 Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm Venue: AISSA Office
Date: 24 October 2023 Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm Venue: AISSA Office
- It’s a RAP
AISSA Stretch RAP 2019-2022
The Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA) is built on the belief that autonomy, respect and integrity infuse all aspects of our relationships with one another and the communities we support. Strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and learning more about their cultures, lands and histories are important to the AISSA and to our member schools. It is our aim to increase cultural understanding, appreciation and respect for the history and traditions of Australia’s First Peoples. The AISSA’s commitment to reconciliation is embedded in our organisational culture. Our Reconciliation Action Plan 2019 – 2022 documents our vision for reconciliation and the actions we are taking to promote reconciliation.
The AISSA is currently in the process of developing a new Stretch RAP.
AISSA supports NRW 2020
The AISSA has proudly joined 50 of Australia’s leading organisations to mark 2020 National Reconciliation Week. Whether in crisis or in reconciliation, we are all in this together. #NRW2020 #InThisTogether2020 @ReconciliationAustralia
Staff reflections on our reconciliation journey May 2018
In May 2018 the team at the Association of Independent Schools of SA reflected on our reconciliation journey. This story began in 2014 with the drafting of our first Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and the launch of our RAP in May 2015. Our RAP journey has been both personal and professional and each one of us brings a unique perspective.
Since 2015, the AISSA has, through funding gratefully received from the National Indigenous Australians Agency, provided a mentoring program for First Nations secondary students in Independent schools. This program strives to provide First Nations students with relevant and engaging mentoring support, allowing them to grow and develop as they complete their education. It aims to encourage social and emotional well-being, identity development and contribute towards positive educational outcomes and post-secondary school learning opportunities.
In 2023, mentoring is provided by Ngarrindjeri woman, Sara Bingapore, who has been with this program since mid-2021.It is provided at no cost to students, taking place in their school during term time. A key strength of the program is the longitudinal nature that, to date, has seen a number of students receive mentoring through their time in secondary school. The program strives to be flexible and contextual in its approach to best accommodate the needs of the students, working in collaboration with school staff, families and students using a strengths-based approach.
If you would like to learn more abut his important program, please contact Sara Bingapore.
Science – new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Science Teacher Background notes Foundation – Year 10
ACARA has released the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Science Elaborations Teacher Background notes for Foundation – Year 6 Science curriculum and Year 7 – 10 Science curriculum. The 95 new Science elaborations show how our First Nations peoples have thought scientifically and that they continue to inform scientific thinking.
NEO Learning language Years 3 – 6
The NEO Learning language resource is suitable for Year 3-6 students and it is co-created by young people from Ieramugadu (Roebourne) within the Pilbara region of Western Australia. NEO-Learning was created to support students across Australia build solid skills in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, digital literacies and visual arts, with literacy and numeracy incorporated throughout.
Dark Emu Digibook – Bruce Pascoe
ABC Education has created 14 short digibook chapters based on the Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe. Bruce Pascoe demonstrates in the Dark Emu that the early explorers found evidence of a complex civilisation that was using sophisticated technologies to live, farm and manage the land. This resource can be used in primary and secondary contexts.
The Australian Dream
The ABC Education Indigenous resources includes the Australian Dream and accompanying teacher support materials (Years 6-10) that are based on excerpts from the film. The support materials explore five themes; (1) Introducing Adam Goodes (2) Cultural identity (3) History and truths (4) Racism (5) Resilience and reconciliation.
The Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnwali website has a wide range of resources that are aligned to the Australian curriculum and can be filtered by year level and learning area.
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 resources 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 online in one day and after the approval of the Principal be automatically sent to the Narragunnawali Team for review. Once reviewed, the school and a summary of RAP commitments appears on the national ‘Who has a RAP?’ map.
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.
For more information please email Kate Mount or telephone 08 8179 1443.
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. After rapid continent wide colonisation by Aboriginal Australians nearly 50,000 years ago, this is recent evidence in the DNA of discrete language groups that these groups have been continuously present in specific geographical areas dating back to 50,000 years ago. This recent research by Adelaide University adds another layer to understanding the deep Aboriginal Australian cultural attachment to their country.
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.
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.
For more information please email Kate Mount or telephone 08 8179 1443.
Australians Together have provided resources to support conversations that you might find useful about Australia Day and why 26 January can be a difficult day for many First Nations people.
- What’s the fuss about 26 January? article explaining why Australia Day is divisive for some people.
- Australia Day Teacher Guide which includes suggested activities for the classroom and a list of ACARA codes and learning areas for years 3 to 10.
- Pride and Pain interactive timeline to help students understand key dates and events in our history.
Kumarninthi Cultural Education has information about Australia Day from an Aboriginal perspective and the history behind 26 January.
The Australia Day timeline is a helpful infographic.
Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the birth of agriculture
Author: Bruce Pascoe 2014
This book provides primary sources such as early explorers’ journals to challenge beliefs that the Aboriginal peoples of Australia were hunter gatherers. The quotes below will provide a sense of how the author and different readers understand this evidence.
‘If we look at the evidence presented to us by the explorers and explain to our children that Aboriginal people did build houses, did build dams, did sow, irrigate and till the land, did alter the course of rivers, did sew their clothes, and did construct a system of pan-continental government that generated peace and prosperity, then it is likely we will admire and love our land all the more.’
– Bruce Pascoe
‘Dark Emu is a profound challenge to conventional thinking about Aboriginal life on this continent. He details the Aboriginal economy and analyses the historical data showing that our societies were not simple hunter-gatherer economies but sophisticated, with farming and irrigation practices. This is the most important book on Australia and should be read by every Australian.’
– Marcia Langdon, The Australian
‘He has done a great service by bringing this material to students and general readers, and in such a lively and engaging fashion.’
– Richard Broome, Agora Magazine
Young Dark Emu
The ‘Young Dark Emu’ was released May 2019. It is an adaption of the original book designed for a primary school audience. It is made up of surprising, previously omitted accounts written by famous European explorers and photos and illustrations by Europeans that demonstrate how Aboriginal peoples built houses and farmed the land and practiced aquaculture and land management. The Dark Emu has also been made an ABC Digibook– a series of 14 videos that illustrate the key findings of the book.
Phenomenom have a variety of engaging and fun free teaching resources related to food literacy. Some of these resources listed below focus on Aboriginal histories and cultures.
Wardandi Bibbulmun Elder Aunty Dale Tilbrook, tasting native tubers youlk and warrine, and learning about traditional farming techniques.
Refer to the Primary Years Teaching resources linked to the Australian Curriculum.
Wardandi Bibbulmun Elder Aunty Dale Tilbrook is welcomed to Wurundjeri country by Senior Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Di Kerr, and they discuss the significance of the Welcome, Indigenous farming principles, and why certain plants grow in different parts of Australia.
Refer to the Primary Years Teaching resources linked to the Australian Curriculum.
These videos will support teachers in the Early Years to introduce the Kaurna language to students
Kaurna Language Learning Series – Lesson 1, Traditional Kaurna Greetings
Kaurna Language Learning Series – Lesson 2, Contemporary Kaurna Greetings
Kaurna Language Learning Series – Kaurna for Kids, Animals
ICTV – Kaurna for Kids
ICTV – Pirltawardli Episode 5, Birth Order Names
ICTV – Pirltawardli Episode 15, The Storm
State of Reconciliation in Australia report
Reconciliation in Action – Protocols for working effectively with local Indigenous families and communities
ACARA Illustrations of Practice for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cross curriculum priority
Reconciliation SA Annual General Report 2016-2017 (includes article about robots and Narungga language)
Early Years Case Study – Pulteney Grammar School 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.
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.
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 provides opportunities for deep thinking.
Invitation: Future Case Studies
The AISSA invites schools interested in being part of a case study to highlight whole school methodology and pedagogical practices that build a culture of reconciliation in the Primary, Middle or Secondary context to please email Kate Mount or telephone 08 8179 1443.