Consultation as a Teaching Resource: A Wiradjuri perspective.


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In the very first lecture that I give my students I ask the question; Hands up those who were taught that Captain Cook discovered Australia? From the amount of students that raise their hand, it would appear that many of those who write the curriculum and teach Indigenous Australian Studies in educational institutions, still have not got it right! Many of those who raise their hand have come into University straight from High School and so the questions must be asked: Who is teaching Indigenous Australian Studies? Where are they getting their information? Are Indigenous peoples being consulted? Who is being consulted? Are they the appropriate people? This paper looks not at the educational institutions as such, (the above is just an example), but rather at the processes of communication, of negotiation and of compromise; all of which fall into the realm of 'consultation'. Subjects taught in schools for example, that cover Indigenous peoples and/or issues are in many cases, written without consultation with the appropriate Indigenous peoples, are fostered onto students with inappropriate content and do not take into account the diversity of the very peoples that they are teaching about…Indigenous peoples! Many educational institutions have got it right though. I believe that this has eventuated because those educational institutions have been aware that Indigenous peoples must be brought to the consultation table, their concerns, thoughts, ideas, wisdom, knowledge and experience must be taken into consideration when Indigenous issues come through the school gate. Not consulting with appropriate Indigenous peoples in relation to Indigenous Studies is fraught with danger. This danger lies in the misinformation that is passed to students about Indigenous people and/or issues and the perpetuation of that misinformation throughout the broader community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAboriginal Studies
Subtitle of host publicationReal Aspirations, Real Partnerships, Real Difference
EditorsRhonda Craven
Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
PublisherAboriginal Studies Association
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventThe 11th annual Australian Studies Association conference - Sydney, Australia, Australia
Duration: 20 Nov 200322 Nov 2003


ConferenceThe 11th annual Australian Studies Association conference

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