Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Students love learning language

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

STUDENTS at Gilles Street Primary School in Adelaide, guided by teacher Taylor Power-Smith, have created games, songs and other resources to learn the Kaurna language.

Ms Power-Smith, a Kaurna and Narungga woman, said any game or activity the kids come up with can be turned into a language lesson.

“I find learning through play is the best way to learn and teach,” the 24-year-old told the Koori Mail. “Games keep things fun, which keeps the kids engaged and actually wanting to learn more.

“Songs are also a great way to teach. They seem to find it easier to memorise when there is a rhythm, which is pretty cool.”

Ms Power-Smith said the students are loving learning Aboriginal language.

“They have responded better than I could have ever hoped for,” she said.

“They are always wanting and willing to keep learning more, which makes me really happy and proud.

“I have a great class teacher that supports everything I do. She is really passionate about keeping language thriving and the students are amazing because they want to learn just as much as I want to teach.”

Ms Power-Smith said her motivation and inspiration comes from knowing how important it is to maintain cultural connection and language.

“It plays a critical role in your identity, sense of belonging and your general wellbeing,” she said.

“I think it’s important that people can at least identify the language group that belongs to that region. Teaching Kaurna helps raise the profile and really cements the fact that we are still here, and our language is still just as important to us now, as it was before.

Proud to speak it
“And, basically, it is my language and I am proud to speak it and equally as proud to share it and teach it.”

Ms Power-Smith said she uses a range of resources to teach language, and often consults with Elders when she is planning her lessons.

“We have a Kaurna Learners Guide, which is really useful and, along with our dictionary, is my go-to resource,” she said.

“Robert Amery has been my biggest mentor, so I quite often call on him when I need help. I always consult with Elders, especially if I’m introducing something new to the kids.

“I always make sure I have their blessing and I think they just like to know as well because it makes them happy to know that their knowledge has been passed down, and the next generation is taking care of it and keeping it strong.”
Teacher Taylor Power-Smith is proud of her class of keen language learners in Adelaide

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Deadly students recognised

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

MORE than 100 Indigenous secondary school students have been recognised at the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) Deadly Ways Awards ceremony.
The reception, which acknowledged the involvement of participants, mentors and community volunteers in the Deadly Ways – Our Ways and More Ways programs, was held at USQ Springfield.

USQ vice-chancellor Jan Thomas said it was wonderful to see many young people taking part and benefiting from the programs.

“These programs are vital, as it shows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students the importance of cultural knowledge, leadership and learning,” she said.

“It also helps build the aspirations of the students through face-to-face mentoring and engagement with parents, teachers and the Indigenous community.

“I am confident that this experience will give the students the skills and belief to go on and achieve anything in life.”

Many of the students from the 11 schools in the Lockyer Valley, Darling Downs and Queensland south-west attended a three-day camp at Lake Moogerah.

The camp, which connects Year 10 students with young leaders and mentors, included activities such as cultural workshops, raft building, rope courses, traditional games and team building exercises.

The head of USQ’s College for Indigenous Studies Education and Research (CISER), Tracey Bunda, said the students left the camp with a sense of pride and the confidence to become leaders.

“This Lake Moogerah camp was important because it will help to give the young people the motivation to finish high school and consider university as a desirable and achievable study option,” she said.

“It was conducted with Year 11 and 12 leaders and mentors from each school. The students in these roles have previously been participants of the camp.”

USQ Indigenous engagement officer Melanie Waters said the camp was designed to promote leadership, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and teamwork.
“It was great to see the students enthusiastic to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and cultivate new traditional skills through cultural dances,” she said.

“Some of students even performed three traditional dances of the Yuggera tribe at the awards ceremony.”

The Deadly Ways program is funded through the Federal Government’s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program.
Downland College students at the Deadly Ways awards ceremony with Elder Uncle Henry Thompson

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Important rural health bursary awarded to inspirational Aboriginal medical student

Story courtesy the koori Mail

AN inspiring final-year Aboriginal medical student from the Australian National University is the recipient of the MDA National and Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) Rural Health Bursary for 2016.

Danielle Dries was announced as the bursary recipient at the awards dinner for the annual Rural Medicine Australia conference, held at Old Parliament House in Canberra.

Danielle will use the bursary of $7000 to analyse how Indigenous health can be improved and enhanced as a key subject in Australia’s medical and other health degrees, as well as ways to boost student learning in cross-cultural communication so as to optimise clinical relationships with Indigenous patients.

The bursary has been generously provided for a second year by MDA National as part of its ongoing partnership with RDAA.

Ms Dries says she has two main goals.

“One is to increase the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce, and the other is to ensure that all Australian health graduates are culturally responsive practitioners,” she said.

“We need to improve awareness in the healthcare sector around the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and I have continued to advocate for this through numerous avenues, including by presenting to the Federal Department of Health, organising cultural experiences for my fellow health students, and by having the small conversations, which are very important, with colleagues.

“I also have an active involvement in rural high school workshops, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, which promote an interest in healthy lifestyles and encourage them to consider healthcare as a career.

“I am delighted to receive this important bursary, and look forward to using it to further my passion of improving the focus on Indigenous healthcare and cross-cultural communication in medicine and other health studies to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes.

“In 2010, Indigenous staff made up only 0.8% of academic staff, and only 1.4% of university-enrolled students were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders.

“While all medical degrees have a compulsory Indigenous component, I’m keen to learn how many wider health degrees in Australia have an Indigenous health component (and if so, how many hours of study does this entail, is it a compulsory or elective subject, and is it taught by an Indigenous person/academic)?

“Also, how many Indigenous students are enrolled in the course and do they set their Indigenous curriculum based on any framework?

“I’m also very keen to find out which courses are teaching Indigenous health and cross-cultural communication really well — and how to showcase this to other teaching institutions — and how metropolitan universities compare with regional/rural universities in terms of the focus they give to Indigenous health.

“Gaining more information about this, and documenting it, should provide an excellent support for future work in improving the Indigenous health curriculum both in terms of teaching Indigenous health and increasing health students’ awareness of the importance of cross-cultural knowedge.”
Danielle Dries at a recent event with assistant Health Minister Ken Wyatt.

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Students enjoy science experience

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

SECONDARY students from across the Northern Territory have experienced a range of science activities at the ConocoPhillips Science Experience at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus.

The 100 Year 9 and 10 students from Darwin, Katherine and Arnhem Land had hands-on workshops and other activities during the three-day event.

Students were told about career opportunities at CDU in areas including pharmacy, engineering, aquaculture, medical studies, exercise sports science, environmental science, psychology, and information technology.

Kormilda College student Samuel Roussos said he enjoyed touring the campus facilities, and was interested in finding out about study options around engineering.

“I have always wanted to be an engineer so it’s interesting to learn more about it and see what the university has to offer,” he said.

“The event has been very helpful and I have enjoyed the experience.”

ConocoPhillips sponsored the event together with Science Schools Foundation, the Northern Territory Government, Flinders University, Engineers Australia, Rotary Club
of Litchfield and Palmerston, Cameco Australia, Surveying and Spatial Science Institute NT, and NT Member for Goyder Kezia Purick.

CDU senior research fellow Dr Erica Garcia and gunbalanya School student Sheyanne Nawirridj.

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Community service is in Leteahs future

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

LETEAH Mitchell has undertaken both a TAFE and university course in community services, following in the footsteps of her parents and her passion to help others.

Ms Mitchell, from Taree on the mid north coast of NSW, has high hopes for her future, and once she finishes her Bachelor of Social Work degree at Charles Sturt University and her Certificate Four in Community Services Work at the local TAFE, the 19-year-old hopes to develop her own programs for Indigenous people.

“After I get my degree I want to develop programs that cater for all people,” the Biripi woman told the Koori Mail.

“I want to focus on Indigenous people because I want to help my own people.

“But I want to be able to cater for anyone who is disadvantaged.”

Ms Mitchell said she is the first in her family to attend university, but since enrolling she has encouraged three family members to follow her lead. “My parents are really proud of me,” she said.

“I know not a lot of Aboriginal people see university as an option. Maybe that’s because no one in their family has gone before them.

“I hope that I can set an example that Aboriginal people can go to university and get a degree despite the stereotypes.”

Ms Mitchell was named the NSW Department of Industry Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, and will represent the state at the national awards ceremony in Darwin this month.

NSW Regional Development Minister John Barilaro met Ms Mitchell at Taree TAFE, where she had the chance to tell him of her achievements.

Last month Ms Mitchell went to Parliament House in Canberra with the other state winners to again speak with Mr Barilaro.

Ms Mitchell said she’s still trying to grasp why she’s received these awards.

“I’m honoured to have gone this far,” she said. “I believe God has helped me on my journey and so many doors have been opened for me.

“Personally, I’ve built so much more confidence and come out of my shell. It’s been an amazing experience.”

Ms Mitchell said she looked at a few careers, including law and nursing, before she settled on community services – a choice she’s glad she made.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do coming out of high school,” she said.

“I think I was an ordinary Year 12 student. I relied on my family to steer me in the right direction. Both my parents are in the community services sector.

“I decided that was the best way for me to help disadvantaged people.”

While Ms Mitchell has her eyes firmly set on the national awards on November 17, she has not forgotten her roots.

She said the things that keep her going are her family, which includes five siblings, and God.

“Don’t let people limit what you can do, because you can do more than you think,” she said.
Leteah Mitchell is a winner at the NSW Training Awards.

The Koori Mail is a media partner of Show Me The Way


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