Show Me The Way Blog

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Yolngu studies on offer at CDU

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

A DIPLOMA of Yolngu Studies will be among three courses to be introduced this year at Charles Darwin University. New postgraduate spatial science and education courses will be available along with the diploma, which offers skills in speaking and writing Yolngu Matha languages of Northern Australia.

CDU’s Professor Martin Carroll said the courses would provide practical learning experiences for students along with the flexibility to study on campus or online.

“At CDU we are committed to working with Indigenous knowledge holders to create platforms for meaningful cultural exchanges,” he said.

“We are constantly adapting our courses to include the latest in technologies and trends so that students are better prepared to enter changing workplaces.”

The Yolngu Advisory Group guided CDU’s School of Indigenous Knowledges and Public Policy on the coordination and management of the Yolngu Studies courses.
CDU Yolngu Studies lecturer Brenda Muthamuluwuy and course coordinator Yasunori Hayashi


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Transformation for communities

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

AFTER delving into his family history and discovering his great-grandmother was Wiradjuri, UTS academic Allan Teale set the wheels in motion
for a revitalisation project in central-western NSW.

UTS Design academics and students visited the communities of Lake Cargelligo and Murrin Bridge, hoping to transform neglected building and public spaces.

“It couldn’t have happened without interior and spatial design lecturer Campbell Drake,” Mr Teale told the Koori Mail.

“He’s a man that puts the community above himself every time. He’s the one who took the students out there and it wouldn’t have happened without him.

“He’s a down-to-earth guy. He and the students did a pop-up presentation to the community of their ideas. They really did a great job.”

Mr Teale travelled to the communities with 35 UTS students to introduce them to the locals, then students worked with residents on design proposals.

“I go out there every couple of months,” he said.

“I feel better as soon as I get out of Sydney. I feel better as soon as I get over those mountains. It feels like home.

“I’ve been connecting with the community there. I’m welcomed once I’ve made that connection. I’ve spent three years going out there and trying to get things happening.”

In Lake Cargelligo, students have been working to convert the art deco Civic theatre into an arts and culture space, renew the 100-seat cinema, and reinvigorate the foreshore community club into the town’s new events venue.

The brief for Murrin Bridge includes retrofitting the existing health centre into a multi-purpose community centre, beautifying the town’s cemetery and upgrading the sports ground.

Mr Teale said the experience was beneficial not only to the communities but also to students, some of whom were on exchange from all over the world.

“The community rubbed off on them and they’re just as excited as me to see these plans come to fruition,” he said.

Thanks for caring
“I had someone at the local IGA come up to me and say, ‘Thanks for caring for our community.’

“Feedback like that is important because it’s good to know people are happy. That means a lot to me, and to the students.”

Mr Teale said although the project was his brainchild, executing it was a group effort.

“Not only did I have the support of Campbell Drake but we had the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on board, especially Paul McFayden,” he said.

“And of course none of it would have been possible without the Jumbunna unit at UTS and all the staff there.

“It was like cogs. Without one person’s support it wouldn’t have happened.

“I’m proud to have been part of it.”

UTS students and local Elders in Murrin Bridge

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


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, September 07, 2016

International award to Yambirrpa schools

Story courtesy the Koori Mail

THE Yambirrpa schools centred around Yirrkala in north-east Arnhem Land have won the International Linguapax Award in recognition of more than 40 years of bilingual and bicultural education. Yambirrpa schools were voted the winner from 13 international nominations for ‘continued and persistent efforts to promote and maintain the diversity of Yolngu languages and culture for their children and youth over many years, in adverse and difficult conditions’.
It is the first time the International Linguapax Award has been presented in Australia.
Pictured above: Monica Perena, president of the Linguapax International Organisation, travelled from Barcelona in Spain to present an award to the Yambirrpa Schools Council and the Djarrma Action Group for their work in bilingual and bicultural education. 

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




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