Aboriginal Immersion Program
The Aboriginal Cultural Immersion Program aims to bring together current and aspiring School Leaders and educators involved in Aboriginal education, to experience first-hand the uniqueness of Aboriginal culture. This program will provide opportunities to deepen your understanding of Australia’s First Peoples, to enable you to lead with greater insight the reconciliation initiatives in your community.
Reconciliation Action Plan
The Association of Independent Schools of South Australia 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.
What’s New: Learning Together, Building Relationships
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.
What’s New: Resources for teaching and learning
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.
It is another way of telling the truth about First Nations’ cultures.
AISSA will be offering workshops on the:
- Years 7 to 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Science Elaborations 6 May 2020 (9.00am – 12.00pm)
- Foundation to Year 2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Science Elaborations 3 June 2020 (9.00am – 12.00pm)
- Years 7 to 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Science Elaborations 25 August 2020 (9.30am – 3.30pm)
Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country
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. 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.
Contact details: Monica Williams email@example.com 08 81791417
Indigenous Secondary Student Mentor Program
From 2015 until the end of 2020, 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 2020. 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.
Each year we survey the students regarding the impact, strengths and goals of the program. Please find the 2019 results below (click to enlarge).
The AISSA Mentor is Justin Wilkey (firstname.lastname@example.org or 08 8179 1437), a 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.
Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning Centres
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.
Contact details: Monica Williams email@example.com 08 81791417
ANZAC Day – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans
The Reconciliation SA website has an Education Pack that focusses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women, Forgotten heroes: Honouring the Service and Sacrifice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This resource provides ideas for classroom teaching and learning linked to the Australian Curriculum. In addition, the resource provides a number of resources, many of which can be accessed online.
This DVD tells the story of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial which was unveiled in 2013 in Torrens Parade Grounds. This memorial gives overdue acknowledgement of the history and service of Indigenous men and women.
For Love of Country
This film reflects upon the experiences of Aboriginal military personnel from the Boer war to the current day. The film considers why Aboriginal people have chosen to enlist and describes their experiences of life within the armed forces and the challenges they faced returning to civilian life. For copies of this video please contact Monica Williams firstname.lastname@example.org or (08) 8179 1417.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Curricula Project aims to empower all teachers to integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into their classroom practice. This resource will assist teachers to implement the Australian Curriculum through implementing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures Cross-Curriculum Priority in their classrooms. These resources will be around three themes, Fire, Water and Astronomy. The Astronomy teaching guide is now available.
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.
Kaurna Meyanna Cultural Mapping; A People’s Living Cultural Landscape
The City of Charles Sturt website provides a resource that could be useful for teachers with insights into Kaurna culture around the time of ‘colonisation’ and the impact of ‘colonisation’ over time: The City of Charles Sturt; Kaurna Meyanna Cultural Mapping; A People’s Living Cultural Landscape.
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
ABC – Kaurna for Kids, Numbers
ICTV – Kaurna for Kids
ICTV – Pirltawardli Episode 5, Birth Order Names
ICTV – Pirltawardli Episode 15, The Storm
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.
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 contact Monica Williams at email@example.com or call 08 8179 1417.
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)