The Kaiela Dhungala First Peoples Curriculum incorporates the cultures, histories and knowledge of the Goulburn Murray region’s Indigenous peoples within the Victorian Curriculum in a significant and meaningful manner. It covers Foundation to Year 10 and is cross-discipline:
We acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, their elders and their future elders, for their contributions to this Curriculum and to our community. This curriculum seeks to pay respect to and increase awareness of the strong, vital Indigenous community that has resided in this area for thousands of years (and still today). This is a living culture and history – to fully respect and appreciate this it is essential that schools, teachers and students engage directly with community members and organisations, not just this resource.
The Project is an initiative of the Koorie Partnership Group of the local Principal’s Network. This is a group made up of a range of Principals, teachers, community members and organisations and Department of Education and Training representatives.
It is a true collaboration between all of these parties: it is not owned by the Department or any one organisation, but instead is the work of these groups combined. It has been guided and led by ongoing community consultation.
Organisations consulted in the process of the development of this resource include the GVAECG and VAEAI; the Department of Education and Training’s Koorie Engagement Unit, Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, Ganbina, Bangerang Cultural Centre, Parks Victoria, Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative, Kaiela Arts, Shepparton Reconciliation Group, Academy Sport Health Education (ASHE), Latrobe University, University of Melbourne and Empowered Communities. It should be noted that this consultation is ongoing and feedback and collaboration will continue to occur during the resource’s use.
The Curriculum will be implemented across the 50 public schools in the Greater Shepparton and Moira LGAs.
A number of teachers have been involved with the development of resources. These teachers volunteered to be involved through emails sent out to the region’s school network. The work has been developed largely in their own time. We are extremely appreciative of the dedication and commitment of these individuals.
The Process of Developing the Curriculum
Extensive consultation with community members and organisations, which was first done individually to get thoughts on the current efforts of schools and ways in which schools could improve.
Community forums where the findings from this consultation were presented, the idea of a curriculum resource was fully formed, and a set of protocols were established.
Teachers were recruited and trained in these protocols, for them to ultimately create draft units.
Draft units were then presented to a community forum for feedback.
The final stage involved the design of the professional development program, and the preparation of schools for its implementation.
School’s are commencing implementation of the Professional Development Program that accompanies the resource at the start of 2017. This is a prerequisite for use of the resource and further details on the Program can be found here [INSERT LINK TO THIS PAGE].
Use of the curriculum resources will commence in schools running the Professional Development program in late Term 1, 2017.
Development of the resource will be ongoing.
Based on our consultation with the community, the following outcomes for both Indigenous students and non-Indigenous students were identified:
For all students to:
- Recognise and realise that there was an existing culture and peoples, specific to this area, and that this was fully formed and complex;
- Recognise that this is a living and vibrant culture;
- Embrace this culture and identity as a positive;
- Accept it as just as important as non-Indigenous culture.
For indigenous students to:
- Have their cultural identity bring them a sense of price, confidence and sense of importance
- For this to lead to improved outcomes, attendance, retention etc.
Additionally, we believe this is essential work of the schools in our region for the following reasons:
- All of our schools are situated within a significant Indigenous community, with a vibrant living culture and an important history, that is not currently adequately recognised in many of our schools;
- This community would like schools to be doing the work this resource supports;
- Our schools have an important role to play in the reconciliation effort, and to ensure our non-Indigenous students are positive members of our community;
- There is a significant gap in the outcomes of our Indigenous students in our region.
- Cultural inclusion has been shown through a wide range of research to positively address outcomes for Indigenous students; and
- The resource and the professional development program complement, and assist schools to meet, the requirements of the Victorian Curriculum (including the intercultural capability), the Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-2026, and the AITSL Standards.