Aboriginal Education Services

Aboriginal Education Services (AES) supports Learning Services, schools, colleges and child and family centres to develop practices and environments that improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal students and that address the Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

The work of AES is informed by Tasmania’s Aboriginal Education Framework (2016-2017) which is practically supported by Tasmania’s Closing the Gap Strategy. This Strategy takes into account Tasmania’s unique socio-cultural context and responds to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2015 and COAG targets.

AES works within Early Years and Schools to support the Department to develop strategies, policies and guidelines that are inclusive and that support closing the gap in educational outcomes for Aboriginal students.

The Aboriginal Early Learning team consists of seven Aboriginal Early Years Education Workers around the State who are based in four Child and Family Centres (CFCs) and a Senior Curriculum Officer based at AES. Aboriginal Early Years Education Workers work closely with families of Aboriginal children from birth to five years of age to engage their children in a wide range of early years activities and programs. These programs, including Launch into Learning (LiL), may be run in schools or CFCs and nurture and stimulate young children’s learning and help children to become ready for school. Aboriginal Early Years Education Workers play a key role in building connections between schools and families with young children.

AES employs Aboriginal Education Officers (AEOs) who work across schools and play an important part in education for staff, students and the Aboriginal community. An understanding of local culture and strong community ties contribute to the improvement of educational outcomes for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. AEOs support teachers and Aboriginal students in the areas of academic achievement, participation, attendance, retention, pathways and in developing a rich curriculum inclusive of Aboriginal histories and cultures across the curriculum.

AES supports schools to directly employ Aboriginal Education Workers (AEWs). AEWs support teachers and Aboriginal students in the areas of academic achievement, participation, attendance and retention and are a valuable asset to any school.

AES takes responsibility for developing an Aboriginal education forum that is engaging and which encourages schools to take part in practices that will lead to a more cohesive and equitable community without gaps in educational outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.

Aboriginal History and Culture Videos and Learning Tasks

Bush Kinder – Sustainability Learning Centre, Mount Nelson

Bush Kinder is situated at Mt Nelson’s Sustainability Learning Centre (SLC) surrounded by 65 hectares of beautiful bush habitat -just perfect for being on country, exploring, enjoying, being active, building, collecting and observing. Through outdoor play pre-school children develop an understanding of the bush in a culturally responsive way by learning alongside Aboriginal people. Parents can bring their pre-school family and teachers can bring their kinder or Launching into Learning students to the weekly Bush Kinder sessions at Mount Nelson this year. The Bush Kinder at the Sustainability Learning Centre is a joint venture between Aboriginal Education Services and the Sustainability Learning Centre.

Culture, difference and the mythical norm

Learning to identify how norms are constructed and circulated requires deliberate effort. Audre Lorde (1988) highlights the existence of powerful images about what constitutes normal and desirable behaviours and characteristics, and the impact these images have on people who understand that they do not ‘fit’ this mythical norm.

Culturally Responsive Practice: Understanding Self, Understanding Other (Aboriginal Education Services)

Students explored multiple perspectives as they considered the consequences of building a bypass around Brighton. The route of the bypass crosses land and country that has significant Aboriginal value.

Culturally Responsive Practice: Country and Community (Aboriginal Education Services)

This video explores Tony’s story as he describes his connections to Aboriginal culture and community in Tasmania from his high school years to today as an Aboriginal Ranger. Tony’s story is a case study in the importance of connection to community and of the co-dependent relationship between the Aboriginal community and the land.

Culturally Responsive Practice: Early Years Program​ (Aboriginal Education Services)

In this video we can see that children and their families, especially Aboriginal children, thrive when they have opportunities to:

  • Spend time on Country with Aboriginal people
  • Engage in child-centred investigative play in outdoor setting using everyday objects
  • Engage in risky play
  • Be free to explore and develop language and dialogue with families, children’s first educators.

Culturally Responsive Practice: Listening and Telling (Aboriginal Education Services)

We learn not about, but with and from people by asking them to tell their stories. This learning task addresses the elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cross curriculum priority by focusing on students learning directly about Aboriginal people who visit their class. It is a highly interactive task that involves everyone in developing skills in inquiry and culturally responsive practice.​

Culturally Responsive Practice: We Are Connecting with Place ​(Aboriginal Education Services)

This learning task is aimed at developing connection to place by first introducing students to places that inspire, and have significance for Aboriginal people. Students work in groups and visit a chosen place on many occasions over a period of time. The group then develops a presentation in the form of a narrative, poem, installation or dance as a recognition of their emerging connection to their place.​

Culturally Responsive Practice – Gumnuts to Buttons: How can we explore the Aboriginal view of ‘settlement’?

From Gumnuts to Buttons gives participants the opportunity to reconsider the Eurocentric view of ‘settlement’ in Tasmania and see through the eyes of Aboriginal people. View trailer.

Culturally Responsive Practice: Relationship With Place

This learning task is aimed at developing connection to place by first introducing students to places that inspire, and have significance for Aboriginal people. Students work in groups and visit a chosen place on many occasions over a period of time. The group then develops a presentation in the form of a narrative, poem, installation or dance as a recognition of their emerging connection to their place.

TMAG – Virtual Tour – ningina tunapri

This film accompanies Teangi Brown, Aboriginal Learning Facilitator, through the ningina tunapri Gallery as presents each of the displays to the camera. The production offers an alternative to Teangi’s ‘live-stream’ Skype sessions.

TMAG Virtual Tour – Unpacking the Black Box

This film documents Teangi Brown, Aboriginal Learning Facilitator, unpacking The Black Box, which contains Aboriginal artefacts, to the camera. The production offers an alternative to Teangi’s ‘live-stream’ Skype sessions.

Touching the Earth

How can we explore a personal connection to place and home?

Creating personal art using hands with earth-paint sourced from students’ homes. Exploring significance of place and personalised art expression.

Aboriginal Sharers of Knowledge (ASK) program

Co-ordinator: Todd Sculthorpe
Phone: (03) 6165 5477
Email: aboriginal.education@education.tas.gov.au

NAIDOC 2017

This year NAIDOC week is 2nd – 9th July and activities will be held across Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

The 2017 theme – Our Language Matters – aims to celebrate the essential role that Indigenous languages play in both cultural identity, linking people to their land and water, and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.

The week is celebrated not just in the Indigenous communities but also in increasing numbers of government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces.

Here are some ideas on how to celebrate NAIDOC Week:

  • Invite an Aboriginal Speaker of Knowledge into the classroom via the ASK Program – please see the guidelines and application form.
  • Display the National NAIDOC Poster or other Indigenous posters around your classroom or workplace.
  • Start your own hall of fame featuring Indigenous role models.
  • Listen to Indigenous musicians or watch a movie about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history.
  • Make your own Indigenous trivia quiz.
  • Study a famous Indigenous Australian.
  • Research the traditional Indigenous owners of your area.
  • Study Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts.
  • Create your own Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander art.
  • Run an art competition for your school or community.
  • Research Indigenous history online or visit your library to find books about Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples.
  • Visit local Indigenous sites of significance or interest.
  • Learn the meanings of local or national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place names and words.
  • Invite local Indigenous Elders to speak or give a Welcome to Country at your school or workplace.
  • Invite an Indigenous sportsperson or artist to visit you.
  • Invite Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander dancers to perform.
  • Host a community BBQ or luncheon.
  • Hold a flag raising ceremony.
  • Organise a smoking ceremony.

Aboriginal Educators in Schools

The Department employs Aboriginal Education Officers (AEOs), Aboriginal Early Years Education Workers (AEYEWs) and co-funds schools to employ Aboriginal Education Workers (AEWs).

AEOs, AEYEWs and AEWs play an important part in education for staff, students and the Aboriginal community. An understanding of local culture and strong community ties contribute to the improvement of educational outcomes for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. AEYEWs are based in Child and Family Centres (CFCs) and work closely with families of Aboriginal children from birth to five years of age to engage them in early years initiatives that enhance their children’s learning.

AEOs and AEWs support teachers and Aboriginal students in the areas of academic achievement, participation, attendance, retention, transition points including pathways to post-school options and in contributing to a rich curriculum inclusive of Aboriginal content and perspectives across the curriculum.

Aboriginal Education Services –Funding for Schools

Aboriginal Education Services provides targeted funding support to Tasmanian Government schools to support initiatives that close the gap in educational outcomes for Aboriginal students and that address the cross curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

TMAG Tours for Schools with an Aboriginal Learning Facilitator

AES and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) have collaborated to employ an Aboriginal Learning Facilitator (ALF) toencourage and facilitate more public schools to visit TMAG for guided tours and cultural education programs.

Teachers can book groups into:

  1. Introductory Tour ofningina tunapri
  2. Introductory Tour of Our land: Parrawa, Parrawa! Go away!
  3. Self-guided tours
  4. 2016 Tasmanian Aboriginal Culture Education Program –waranta mulaka yula

We, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community, hunt muttonbirds.

For further information and bookings visit the TMAG website booking page

Bush Kinder – Sustainability Learning Centre, Mount Nelson

Pre-school children can learn more about the bush in a culturally responsive way be learning alongside Aboriginal people.

Parents can bring their pre-school family and teachers can bring their kinder or Launching into Learning students to the weekly Bush Kinder sessions at Mount Nelson this year.

The Bush Kinder at the Sustainability Learning Centre is a joint venture between Aboriginal Education Services and the Sustainability Learning Centre.

See flyers below for more information.