Symposium to focus on Indigenous education

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Symposium to focus on Indigenous education


17 October 2013

The University of the Sunshine Coast will host the 7th annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Symposium on campus on Saturday 19 October.

More than 80 teachers and pre-service teachers have registered for the event, which will focus on two Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) national standards that relate specifically to teaching Indigenous students.

Media is welcome to attend the symposium from 8.30am to 5pm at the USC Chancellery (Building C), with the best time for interviews, photos/filming at noon.

Among the highlights will be the launch of a Gubbi Gubbi traditional language journey website by Dr Eve Fesl, participatory workshops on traditional Indigenous games, and a keynote address by Professor Heather (Jeannie) Herbert, the Foundation Chair of Indigenous Studies at Charles Sturt University in NSW.

USC Indigenous Services Project Officer Bart Stanford said Professor Herbert, who hails from the Kimberley region in Western Australia, was a big drawcard for the symposium.

“She’s got a wealth of experience and knowledge and has worked in education from early childhood to high school,” he said. “She’s on various councils and committees that have a great influence on Indigenous learning and teaching.”

Mr Stanford said the symposium would consider AITSL standards 1.4 (strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students) and 2.4 (understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians) that apply to all teachers across Australia.

“These standards will be addressed through workshops designed specifically to help pre-service teachers, working teachers, heads of department, principals and others working within education to meet these standards in meaningful and inclusive ways,” he said.

”Events like this symposium present what we’re trying to do with education in terms of Indigenous learning and teaching. They provide better perspectives on what is involved in teaching Indigenous students and will help close the gap in learning outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”

 — Terry Walsh

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