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Community & Business

23 March, 2021

Cultural nourishment is brought to the area

Last week, Dr Cathie Burgess and Dr Kevin Lowe, visited Gilgandra High School to run the Culturally Nourishing Schooling Project: Aboriginal-led teacher professional learning.

Representatives from Gilgandra High School pictured with Dr Kevin Lowe (left) and Dr Cathie Burgess (standing third from the left).

The program aims to educate teachers on the past, present, and ongoing issues that are faced by the local Aboriginal communities, as a means to connect with their Aboriginal students on a more intimate level.

Studies have shown that by showing interest in children’s family and culture, they are much more likely to engage and feel safe with the teachers who take the time to connect with their students in this way.

Aboriginal students’ marks have shown to increase dramatically when the students feel like school is a safe and welcoming place and knowing more about their culture and the background, they come from is the first step in the right direction.

The program ran over two days, where teachers initially had a day at Yalmambirra Boogijoon Doolin Aboriginal Culture Camp, speaking with Ralph, Kimm and Deirdri Naden, then continued on the next day in Coonabarabran. Here the teachers immersed themselves in the local culture and began understanding on a much deeper level the thought processes and cultural inheritances their Aboriginal students carry with them.

The program is set to run over the course of a couple of years, with the end result being around 25 teachers NSW wide having gone through the program, a small start to this next stage of development in Aboriginal education.

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