With the release of the 2019 National NAIDOC Teaching resources, National NAIDOC Committee member Dr Lynette Riley tells us the importance of teaching and learning, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and history.
NAIDOC has a long tradition to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories. This is done significantly through provision of educational and cultural programs both in our communities and within our schools.
The Australian Curriculum: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority is working towards addressing two distinct needs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education:
• that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are able to see themselves, their identities and their cultures reflected in the curriculum of each of the learning areas, can fully participate in the curriculum and can build their self-esteem; and
• that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority is designed for all students to engage in reconciliation, respect and recognition of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures.
Having said that, it isn’t always easy for teachers to come up with ideas for teaching. They need to have created contact with their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and parents, to ensure what they offer is appropriate. But if they haven’t or can’t do that they may need support through some foundational ideas, to get started. Last year we provided some ideas, and these information sheets were downloaded in excess of 30,000 times. So this year we thought we had better continue this educational support!
Please use the information sheets provided, build on these and even use them as discussion starters with your local community and come up with even better ideas. Let us know how your teachings go and if you have suggestions for other teachers, let us know them as well and we will include those in future suggestions and ideas for teaching in NAIDOC.
For me education is central to all we do in ensuring truth telling and making sure all people have the real facts about Aboriginal people’s cultures and histories of contact in Australia.