Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Undertaking a success

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

SIXTEEN students have graduated from a North Coast TAFE program that provided permanent headstones for unmarked graves in Aboriginal communities.

The students attended a graduation celebration at the TAFE college in Lismore on the NSW north coast last week.

They developed personalised mosaic headstones for unmarked graves.

Student Carlene Robinson created a headstone for her late brother, who was buried in 1990.

“It’s a privilege to be able to make it for him,” she told the Koori Mail. “Now he can finally have his own bed to rest.”

Course teacher Ruth Parks said the class was a “riot” of fun.

“You could always hear the laughter before you saw the class,” she said.

“They were raucous and happy but they were single-minded about completing the project, too. They were dedicated, coming in every week, working really hard.”

Student Sonya Breckenridge said the course had been a good experience for all involved.

“We could come together for our loved ones and create something beautiful with our mob,” she said.

“And we had fun at the same time.”

The course was funded through Warrawi Gambling Help.

 “A lot of gambling is associated with grief and loss,” Warrawi’s Harry Beckers said.

“We support community projects that help to divert people from gambling.

“It was Sharon Cook from Burabi Aboriginal Co-operation who approached us about this project.

“We also talk to people about the support they can get if they have a problem with gambling.”

The term-long TAFE course will continue, with students now turning their creative talents to making dishes and birdbaths as well as more headstones.
The course is run by the Goori Arts Program, a Burabi Aboriginal Corporation and Aboriginal Learning Circle North Coast TAFE partnership.

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


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Community teaches the goal of a program

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

 A GROUP of Charles Darwin University students from Indigenous communities across the Northern Territory has visited Darwin as part of a program aimed at increasing the number of Indigenous teachers in community schools.

The Bachelor of Education (Primary) students are taking part in an accredited and nationally recognised teacher education program at CDU through the Growing Our Own (GOO) program in partnership with the Catholic Education Office.

During the visit, the 17 students from Bathurst Island, Daly River, Katherine, Santa Teresa and Wadeye undertook an intensive unit and visited urban schools.

Tiwi student Tammy Kerinaiwa, who is in her second year of study, said she wanted to formalise her qualifications as a teacher after being inspired by her aunt and grandfather.

“Growing up with my aunty who was a Tiwi principal, I had always wanted to become a teacher,” she said.

“When I become a qualified teacher I will be able to pass my knowledge on and also encourage the next generation of teachers in our community.”

CDU GOO coordinator Ben Van Gelderen said the program was customised to meet the needs of the students, and their communities and schools.

“The program is set up around the idea of two-way learning and knowledge exchange,” he said.

Ms Kerinaiwa said that having local people teach in communities provided an opportunity for Indigenous knowledge to be incorporated into the curriculum.

Now in its eighth year, the Federal Government-funded program has had 21 graduates, who have taken up teaching positions at remote Indigenous schools.
During the program each student’s work is checked against that of other students in the course and on completion they can apply for membership of the Northern Territory Teachers Registration Board.

Tiwi student Tammy Kerinaiwa and CDU Growing Our Own coordinator Ben Van Gelderen with staff and students.

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


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Uni scheme will aid communities

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

THE University of Sydney has launched a new program offering students opportunities to undertake community service with Indigenous people while applying the experience to their academic and personal development.

Service learning hubs have been negotiated with Aboriginal communities in Kakadu (Northern Territory), far western New South Wales and the Tiwi Islands. An additional hub is under consideration for western Sydney.

The Kakadu hub has resulted from a memorandum of understanding signed by the university and Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC), the representative body of the Mirarr Aboriginal people of Kakadu in the Northern Territory.

A suite of projects has been agreed upon to complement the corporation’s socio-economic development in the region.

Students and three academics from the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, Law and Engineering and IT have started work with the community on an initial ‘Shared Decisions and Benefits’ model.

The university has also signed a memorandum with Murdi Paaki Region Assembly (MPRA) in far western NSW.

Next month, up to 10 students and four staff from the faculties of Engineering and IT and Health Sciences will begin work on two projects developing aged-care service models and alternative energy solutions for remote communities.

And in the Tiwi Islands, an agreement has been reached between the university and the Tiwi Islands Regional Council.

From next year, students will work on three government and policy projects with the local community, including the development of a framework that reintegrates culture, knowledge and traditional practice in community behaviour, policy and structures.

It is anticipated the other projects will focus on the nature and role of local government in remote Aboriginal communities and a range of development and policy initiatives.
University of Sydney's James Endean and Malia Emberson-Lafoa'i work with Mirrar woman May Nango in Kakadu.

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


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

UTS program wins praise

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

Twenty-one Indigenous students from around NSW visited the UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT recently as part of the Galuwa program.

Under the program, students take part in workshops, go on site visits to engineering and communication organisations, and learn about careers and study options in the field of technology.

UTS student and Galuwa program mentor Gabriel Samaniego, who mentored the students in the program, said it’s a great opportunity for aspiring engineers.

“It’s an introduction for high school students to engineering at university,” he said.

“It’s a week-long program, and there’s a lot of students from remote areas that participate.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a mentor, but I talk to the students about internships and what employers are looking for.”

Mr Samaniego, now in his third year of civil engineering, said he didn’t know about Galuwa when he was in high school, but since becoming involved he can see it inspires students to try university.
“I was good at maths and science so I thought why not do engineering, but I’ve fallen more in love with the course over the years,” he said.

“I’ve met kids in the program who say, ‘I can’t wait to go to uni now,’ so it’s not just a learning experience. I also talk to them about uni culture, like joining different societies and things.

“Galuwa should be commended for what they do. It’s a really good program for inspiring young engineers.”
Gabriel Samaniego, at right, watches over students as they learn the ropes of engineering. He said, "Galuwa should be commended for what they do. It's a really good program for inspiring young engineers."

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


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cultural competence is the goal

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

THE University of Sydney launched its Cultural Competence at Sydney initiative with a recent panel discussion.

Indigenous Strategy and Services deputy vice-chancellor Professor Shane Houston said the event was the beginning of a new era of inclusiveness and understanding at the university.

“We are the first university in Australia and, I believe, the world to incorporate cultural competence at a whole-of-university level,” he said.

The university identified cultural competence as a “key quality” staff and students should strive for in its 2016-20 Strategic Plan.

“Cultural competence is essential to our story – as a student attribute, a component of our curriculum and research, an element of the professionalism of our staff and an essential feature of the student experience,” Prof Houston said.

“I look forward to our shared journey, as we work towards ensuring this module is embedded in everything we do.”

University vice-chancellor and principal Dr Michael Spence said cultural competence has an important role at the university.

“For us, this is an identity project,” he said. “Cultural competence is a core intellectual skill.

“Unless you acquire the capacity to actively listen, to imagine what the world might look like through the eyes of others, then you won’t have the flexibility of mind you need to be well trained.

“It’s also crucial for the development of sharp minds and good hearts, of the kind that we so desperately need for leadership in this country.”

The University also launched new professional development opportunities for staff, including online training modules, which were showcased at the event.

Created by Sydney University’s National Centre for Cultural Competence, two new modules for professional and academic staff will aim to support the development of skills required for an “open and inclusive community”.

“I’m very pleased to launch these two online modules, which mark the beginning of a journey of exploration as we think through the implications for our staff training, our students and our life together,” Dr Spence said.

Both modules are available for university staff to complete and will be embedded into the training provided to new employees from next year, with plans to adapt them for students.

Deputy vice-chancellor (education) Professor Phillipa Pattison, Professor Shane Houston, and academic director of the National Centre for Cultural Competence Professor Juanita Sherwood attend the launch.

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


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