Indigenous Education Resources Package

Project Coordinator: Bronwen Maxwell

Consultant Project Designers: Teekee Marloo, Chris Tobin

Timeframe: August 2007 – June 2008

Funding: Natural Heritage Trust

This project was conducted in partnership with the World Heritage Unit in the Parks and Wildlife Division of the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC).

Outline:

It was intended that the project supports the principle that it is of increasing importance for our children to know the cultural heritage – the stories, songs, dances and games – of their local area.

During 2007 and 2008, the World Heritage Unit (DECC), in collaboration with the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, managed a series of projects under the core project title, Indigenous Cultural Co-management of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GMBWHA). The overall aim of the project is to support the effective implementation of the GBMWHA Aboriginal Co-management Strategic Plan (an outcome of the GBMWHA Indigenous Consultative Forums project).

The Indigenous Education Resource Package Project is one of the specific outputs.  This project offers an opportunity to investigate and support an already identified need for the development of a comprehensive local indigenous resources package. The creation of a user-friendly, local resource package that will be readily used within children’s classrooms is the desired outcome of this project, as well as a longer-term objective to embed local knowledge in the primary school curriculum in public and private schools.

Funding has been jointly obtained from the federal Natural Heritage Trust, and used as seeding for a research and consultation process to address the creation of and subsequent development of a prototype World Heritage Aboriginal education resource package. The Education Coordinator within the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, along with two consultant Project Designers, facilitated this process and consulted with cultural educators and practitioners within the local Aboriginal community.

The project was managed in two stages, the first (August 07 – December 07) involving an assessment of existing Indigenous educational resources within the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney region, drafting a survey questionnaire and consulting with local Aboriginal cultural educators and practitioners, and teachers from selected primary schools in the region. Stage two (January 08 – June 08) involved collating the data from the survey, reviewing instructional design options, developing a prototype resource package and testing it as a curriculum-relevant product within selected schools.

The resource package initially focuses on the two local languages, within the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney region, the Dharug and Gundungurra. Once this prototype package has been developed, further financial support will be sought to support replicating it for the other language groups, within the GBMWHA, the Wanaruah, Wiradjuri, Darkinjung and Tharawal Nations.

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