Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Women find common ground at Uni of Southern Qld

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

THE history and cultures of Chicana and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women recently found common ground at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Toowoomba.

A program, ‘Indigenous Women and Creative Traditions: Transforming Lives through Radical Practice’, connected Chicana (women of Mexican-American heritage) and Indigenous Australian artists and scholars through an art exhibition, panel and a series of lectures.

Professor Lara Medina and Professor Yreina D Cervantez, from California State University travelled from Los Angeles for the USQ-sponsored event.

Together, they shared insights into Chicana culture and identity with presentations such as ‘The Medicine of Historical Memory: The Chicana/o Experience’; ‘Lightning in the Blood: Reclaiming Identity and Xicana Power’; and ‘Indigenous Art of Death: Ceremony, Ritual Healing and Reclamation’.

Prof Medina and Prof Cervantes also joined local Aboriginal artists to create the Days of the Dead: Living, Recalling Spirit and Ancestors  exhibition, drawing on traditions and practices for recalling the work of ancestors and spiritualties.

Curated by USQ’s Alma Cervantes and Megan Darr, the exhibition also featured Robyn Heckenberg, Kim Walmsley, Chris Kelly and Martha Martinez.
USQ’s collaboration with California State University will continue with Dr Kathryn Gilbey undertaking a 2016 Fulbright scholarship there later this year.
At USQ: from left, Robyn Heckenberg, Dr Kathryn Gilbey, Chris Kelly. Martha Martinez, Megan Cooper, Alma Cervantes, Elder Uncle Darby McCarthy, Professor Lara Medina, Professor Yreina D Cervantes and Megan Darr.

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


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Torch program bright idea for those on the inside

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

A NEW exhibition of artworks from Indigenous ex-offenders who are transitioning from prison to the community is on display at Melbourne Museum.

The artworks are part of The Torch program, which supports offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria through its Indigenous Arts in Prisons and Community education program. They are on show at the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

Torch chief executive Kent Morris said the organisation supports the rehabilitation of Indigenous prisoners by helping them develop connection to culture and arts.
“By providing Indigenous offenders with cultural knowledge and artistic skills we aim to strengthen their resilience to the cycle of re-offending and address the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in prison,” he said.

The exhibition, Yannae Wirrante Weelam: The Journey Home, presents work by 24 artists in the post-release component of The Torch program.

There are 43 works, including paintings, ceramics, wood burnings and other 3D pieces. A feature is a kangaroo skin and emu feather cloak by Robbie Knight.

One of the Indigenous artists involved in the program, ‘Spokesy’, said the program allows the participants to be seen as artists rather than ex-offenders.
“It’s not easy to get your artwork in galleries, especially for the boys inside; you kind of get forgotten,” he said.
“It’s good to show people that you’ve got something, you’re not just crooks, that you’re able to do something positive.”

Artworks from the program have been bought by the National Gallery of Victoria permanent collection as well as government, corporate and private buyers.
Most works in Yinnae Wirrate Weelam are for sale via The Torch, with all of the purchase price going to the artist.

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

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Milestone at Newcastle

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

THE University of Newcastle has hit a milestone with more than 1000 Indigenous enrolments so far this year. That means Indigenous students make up 3.5% of the total enrolment, the largest proportion ever at the university.

And the university lays claim to having largest number of Indigenous students of any Australian university.

Acting dean of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Research Professor John Lester said it showed the university was a national leader in the area of Indigenous education.

“I am absolutely over the moon … this has been an impossible dream for me, and one I am extremely proud the university has achieved,” he said.
University of Newcastle has reported steady growth in Indigenous enrolments in recent years.

Prof Lester says it has been a pioneer in assisting Australian Indigenous students gain better access into the fields of health, science, business and education.
The university’s Joint Medical Program has also pioneered a way for Indigenous students into medicine, with almost half the country’s Indigenous doctors are graduates of Newcastle.

“The great activist Chika Dixon once said he thought he would never live to see one Aboriginal doctor. His legacy lives on and I am
so proud to say that the university has seen Indigenous medical students and health enrolments rise from 2.9% in 2014 to 3.6% this year,” Prof Lester said.
“I truly believe Newcastle is now producing some of the best Indigenous graduates in the country, largely down to the fantastic staff and support systems in place.”
University of Newcastle Indigenous students Martin Roberts, Elizabeth Skillen, Joseph Wright, Tessa Flick and Haidee Allan.

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Something to smile about

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

IMPROVED Indigenous dental health is a step closer following a recent graduation ceremony in Sydney.

Twelve Certificate III and eight Certificate IV Dental Assisting students received their qualifications during the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Dental Assisting graduation at TAFE Western Sydney’s Nepean College. This brings the number of graduates to 60 since the program began, with a 98% course completion rate. Past students have gone on to complete additional qualifications, with one student currently studying a Bachelor of Oral Health at the University of Sydney.

The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health formed a partnership with TAFE Western Sydney’s online and distance education provider OTEN (Open Training and Education Network) to get the course under way in 2014. With funding support from the Centre for Oral Health Strategy and the Rotary Club of Sydney, scholarships were offered to Indigenous students across NSW.

Paul Talbot, from Boggabilla, was among the first intake of scholarship students. He graduated last month with a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting and is now working on a Diploma in Dental Technology.

“The scholarship from Poche Centre gave me the opportunity to better my career and achieve my goals,” he said.

“This experience was one of the best and most successful journeys of my life.”

I am growing in my career and taking what I have learnt back to Boggabilla. I do denture clinics for the elderly and mouth guard clinics for the youth.

“I liked the way the OTEN study program allowed me to come in for training in block periods, gain lots of experience and hands-on practical time with the teachers.

“After starting the Diploma of Dental Technology, I have been accepted into the Diploma of Prosthetist which will allow me to work on patients in my home community.”

Paul Talbot, one of the first intake of scholarship students.

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


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Students attend Ipswich event

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

MORE than 150 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from 31 schools have spent a week at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) for the Ipswich Education, Youth and Sport Program (IEYSP). The event, held at USQ Ipswich, was an opportunity for school students aged 10-17 to gain an insight into tertiary education and give them more
experience in culture, health and sport through activities and mentorship. Kambu Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Health coordinated the program, supported by USQ, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and the Queensland Department of Education and Training. USQ vice-chancellor Professor Jan Thomas said IEYSP was designed to excite and inspire students to consider university as an option after high school.

“USQ is proud to be associated with this program as it helps break down some of the barriers to university life and opens the students’ eyes to study opportunities and career choices they may not have considered,” she said.

Highlights of the program included traditional dance, games and cultural workshops, academic information sessions, skills clinics and a career and education expo. For Redbank Plains State High School Year 12 student Henry Ara, the program was a chance to discover what his future could hold.

“For me this was a really helpful event because one day I would like to run my own business,” he said.

“Being on campus and speaking to the mentors and current USQ students about my career goals made me realise there is a world of possibilities out there.” Kambu Health chief executive Stella Taylor-Johnson said she could see great potential in the students.

“It was a very successful week and there was a real buzz around the campus,” she said

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


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To be held at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) on the 29 September 2017, the national awards will showcase IDX to corporate Australia.

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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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