Indigenous Perspectives in the National Curriculum; Aussie children can show courage and respect, why can’t we?

The decision to hone in on the number of references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can only be described as petulant dog-whistling. Those in question are challenged to offer some constructive criticism about the ACARA National Curriculum without using Indigenous Australians again as some kind of electoral rabbit to pull out of a hat. The Australian Education Union has offered valid and constructive criticism of the National Curriculum by articulating the need for a comprehensive and resourced implementation plan.

The genie of Australia’s Indigenous history has long been out of the bottle. The sky has not fallen down, and there is no way this can or should be put back in the bottle.

In my experience throughout Australian schools, Aussie children really love learning about Aboriginal Australia.  When Elders and other Aboriginal people are in schools telling their personal stories, explaining the history and significance of local sites, demonstrating how to identify and make use of bush tuckers or Indigenous artefacts, Aussie children are usually hanging off every word spoken, with a very deep sense of respect.

These learning experiences, which offer the chance to positively and respectfully engage with Indigenous people who share the community, are absolutely crucial to a more positive Australian future.

Our children are not the least bit fearful of such opportunities. As adults we must show the same level of courage and respect that they do.

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One Response

  1. Obviously Christopher Pyne’s idea of a balanced view of Australian history is one where of the 40 000 years of inhabitation, we should only be studying the last 95.

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