Indigenous symposium offers cultural experience

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Indigenous symposium offers cultural experience


6 September 2012

6 September 2012

School students will participate in traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander games, artwork, drama and story-telling tomorrow (Friday 7 September) as part of the 6th Annual Indigenous Education Symposium at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The two-day symposium, which has the theme “Step into Learning”, will include fun activities for primary school students tomorrow and some serious discussions for educators, pre-service teachers and the general community on Saturday.

About 100 Year 5 students will participate in workshops at USC’s Sippy Downs campus tomorrow, following a traditional welcome by Kerry Neill.

USC’s Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Dr Anne Drabble said the symposium would give primary students great opportunities to connect with Indigenous history and culture.

“The sessions will be a wonderful learning experience for students,” she said. “The Murri games, which include ball games like Barambah Gimbe and Jumpinpin, will be hosted by USC’s Indigenous Education students.

“The children will be learning about history, geography and Indigenous language while playing the games.”

Dr Drabble said story-telling by Indigenous elders would be a highlight of the event.

“Story-telling is a natural part of Indigenous culture,” she said. “For me, story-telling is an invitation for the listener to walk hand-in-hand with the story teller. It’s very inclusive.”

Saturday’s schedule of speakers include Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Engagement Director Melissa Williams, Mark Cridland of the Barambah Environmental Education Centre, and Theresa Felatar of the Indigenous Schooling Support Unit in northern Queensland.

“Day two will continue to have the same learning-teaching focus, so those attending will be able to take what they have learnt back into the classroom and communities,” Dr Drabble said. “Educators will learn culturally appropriate teaching strategies and how to engage students.”

Michelle Widdicombe

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