Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rachael is looking to a law degree

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

RACHEAL Chesters thought university was out of her reach until she found the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) Indigenous Higher Education Pathways Program (IHEPP).

Miss Chesters used IHEPP as a stepping stone to tertiary education and is now well on her way to a career in law.

USQ vice-chancellor Professor Jan Thomas said IHEPP helped break down the barriers that had prevented people like Miss Chesters from taking up university study.

“I applaud Racheal’s effort and determination to reach her academic goals, and I wish her all the best as she continues her studies,” Prof Thomas said.
“I was also thrilled to hear Racheal is inspiring others to consider university as an option for their future through her role as a USQ student ambassador.”

Miss Chesters is in her second year of a Bachelor of Laws degree at USQ Toowoomba, with hopes of becoming a barrister and a judge.
“Before IHEPP I had my heart set on studying law, but being able to participate in this program made that transition into university a lot easier,” she said. “The free course gave me the opportunity to sharpen important academic skills before starting uni.”

The former Centenary Heights State High School student credits her father Jeffrey for giving her the motivation to pursue tertiary education.

“My father was the first to go to uni in my family, and seeing him graduate in 2013 and find a job he loved was truly inspiring,” she said.

Give it a go
Miss Chesters said anyone of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who is thinking about applying for university should give it a go. For those who haven’t studied for some time or don’t have the right school qualifications, she recommended enrolling in IHEPP first to get a feel for university without committing too far ahead.

“The skills I learnt in the IHEPP program were really helpful,” she said.

IHEPP students study subjects with an Indigenous focus to develop writing, maths, general study and computer skills.

For more information, visit HERE

USQ student ambassador and law student Rachael Chesters

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


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

MATSITI call to invest in teachers

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

THE Federal Government elected on July 2 cannot walk away from ‘investing’ in attracting and retaining more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers. That’s the message from the More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teacher Initiative (MATSITI). The evaluation panel chair of the four-year, $8 million initiative, Peter Johnston, said it “defies belief” that a federal government cannot find $2 million to $2.5 million each year over the coming years to embed strategies to improve Indigenous education inmuniversities and schools. MATSITI officials called on politicians to give education the same focus as they gave Indigenous health because education was key to lifting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s lives. MATSITI project director Professor Peter Buckskin urged action. “We can invest and get a result,” he said. One third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students currently complete their teacher education studies. The MATSITI project has identified the reasons why students are most likely to leave studies.

Cultural shift
While there had been a large cultural shift in teacher education, Prof Buckskin said one third of universities still needed to improve their performance.

“We need to get out of the blame game, but acknowledge there are real issues that we need to work through together,”
he said.

Meanwhile, the Australia Councils of Deans of Education has launched the national online platform the 3Rs – Respect, Relationships and Reconciliation website, the first set of resources developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teacher education experts. The resources aim to improve the confidence and competence of all future and current teachers to teach Indigenous studies in classrooms. 3Rs curriculum director Dr Kaye Price said it will help to reduce the anxiety of beginning and early career teachers in meeting the professional focus areas, which relate to knowing their Indigenous students and teaching about country and place. A recent reconciliation report found that four in every five Australians thought it was important to know about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, yet fewer than one third reported having high levels of knowledge about those cultures.

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


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Jasmine is a top student

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

HIGH school student Jasmine Langworthy is among 70 young people across NSW to be awarded the inaugural 2016 Aboriginal Student of the Year Award. Jasmine, in Year 10 at Glenwood High School, was the winner for the Riverstone Electorate in Western Sydney. The Aboriginal Student of the Year is a new annual award recognising young people who demonstrate leadership within their school and local community. NSW Aboriginal Affairs Minister Leslie Williams gave Jasmine her certificate at a Glenwood High School assembly, where Jasmine and a group of students performed an Indigenous dance. Mrs Williams said the award program recognises emerging leaders and rewards students’ commitment to their local community.

 “The Aboriginal Student of the Year award highlights the outstanding contributions that young leaders are making in their local communities across the state,” she said.

Jasmine and the other winners will receive a certificate and a gift voucher as recognition of their achievements. Jasmine is also among the 20 top students from the award nominations across NSW to go to Sydney in August to attend the Emerging Leaders Forum, where they will meet with Aboriginal, business and government leaders.

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


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sarra heads to Canberra

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

Indigenous educator, former school principal and founder of the Stronger Smarter Institute Chris Sarra has joined the University of Canberra as a professor of education. In his role, Professor Sarra will teach and research in areas such as school leadership, Indigenous education, and educational equity in East Asia and Australia, working closely with Centenary Professor Moosung Lee.

He will also work with the university’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA) on education and social policy research, and will develop and teach an online masters unit on educational leadership.

“Indigenous education is at an exciting stage. Expectations of Indigenous people have changed, and I’d like to think that the stronger smarter philosophy has played a part in that,” Prof Sarra said.

“I’m looking forward to bringing the work I have done over the past 10 years as the founder of the Stronger Smarter Institute to the University of Canberra and building on it, including designing innovative new Indigenous policy.

UC dean of the Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics (ESTeM) Professor Geoffrey Riordan welcomed the appointment.

“Prof Sarra brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the university, not only in Indigenous education but in education more broadly,” he said.

“His work through the Stronger Smarter Institute to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is inspiring, and I look forward to working with him.”

Prof Sarra grew up in Bundaberg, Queensland, and is the youngest of 10 children. He became the first Aboriginal principal of Cherbourg State School in south-east Queensland, in 1998. There, he worked to improve the education and lives of its students through a ‘strong and smart’ philosophy, which encourages students to have a positive sense of cultural identity and embrace positive community leadership.

He founded the Stronger Smarter Institute in 2005, which works with schools and community leaders across Australia to deliver the stronger smarter approach to Indigenous students.

Prof Sarra

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


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Stephanie finds course delivers

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

When Stephanie Archibald had her two children, it wasn’t only kids that arrived.
So too did a burning desire in the Aboriginal mother to become a midwife like those who helped with her precious deliveries. That’s why she switched from the science degree she was undertaking to a Bachelor of Midwifery course at Australian Catholic University.

Ms Archibald says it was the right move.

“Knowing what I know now about our degree, the midwives probably didn’t do anything outside of their job description, but at the time it felt like they had, and it made me want to be that sort of person for someone else,” she said.

The second-year student wants to provide quality, culturally appropriate health care to Indigenous women, which she hopes will empower them to find their voice.

“I had never been super academic, and when I was studying my science degree I was barely passing, but since coming to ACU I have had a distinction average,” she said.

“Everyone at ACU has been really supportive and I now know that I can do a lot more than I thought I could.
“At the end of last year I started thinking about creating an event for midwifery students where Elders could talk about experiences of traditional birth, especially as we were doing rural placements and some of us were going to be supporting Indigenous women.

“I thought it could help students understand a little bit more about what birthing in the Indigenous community means.”

With advice and support from the Weemala Indigenous Higher Education Unit at ACU’s Brisbane campus, Ms Archibald established the ‘Birthing on Country’ forum, hosted by the McAuley Midwifery Society earlier this year. More than 40 turned out for the forum, and Ms Archibald says the experience was so positive, she is discussing the possibility of holding a similar event on ACU’s Melbourne campus.

ACU midwifery student Stephanie Archibald

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


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Curriculum revamp

THE draft Australian Curriculum attempts to move beyond, rather than entrench, a ‘black armband’ view of history, according to Aboriginal educator Chris Sarra.

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