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Teachers immersed in local culture

18 Dec 2019

Teachers connect with the local landscape and bush

Are you walking past hidden treasures every day? You’re not alone, most of us are!

As part of the ACT Education Directorate’s Cultural Immersion Program, groups of ACT public school teachers have been given a new view of Canberra. And the reactions have been similar according to Angela Burroughs from the Directorate’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Unit.

“So many staff who might have grown up in Canberra, come away and say wow I didn’t know that and it’s on my doorstep. That is part of the value of these sessions making people more observant and more aware of their local culture,” Angela said.

Indigenous Engagement and Training Officer, Adam Shipp, led the on country workshops across 12 areas of the ACT.

“We connect them to the local landscape and bush and really teach them about how particularly our plants in this local landscape have been used for thousands of years.

“It benefits them to get a greater understanding of culture and land and gives them the confidence to take their students out and pass this knowledge onto the students themselves to give them a better understanding and appreciation of Indigenous culture,” Adam said.

Workshop participant, Louise McCormick from Isabella Plains Early Childhood School found the workshop extremely helpful.

“It’s going to give me the correct information to be able to pass on, as I’m very aware about the information being authentic and a genuine experience for the children,” Louise said.

The workshops are part of the Cultural Immersion Program for School Leaders C. The program helps staff to lead cultural integrity at their schools by expanding their understanding, challenging their assumptions and developing their local knowledge.

For more information on Cultural Integrity in ACT public schools see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education page.