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Transcript of Families
Relating to Indigenous Families
Kinship systems define where a person fits in to the community, binding people together in relationships of sharing and obligation.
The family system has an extended family structure, as opposed to the nuclear or immediate family structure which is common in Western society.
"All people with the same skin grouping as my mother are my mothers... They have the right, the same as my mother, to watch over me, to control what I'm doing, to make sure that I do the right thing. It's an extended family thing... It's a wonderful secure system."
Wadjularbinna Doomadgee, Gungalidda leader
Renae , Grace , Rachel , Elle
Aboriginal self is seen as one place – belonging to self, family and community this cannot be separated or you have lost the centre of self
Totems relate to ancestry and reflect the value placed on strong family relationships from the past to present
Imagine you have just got your first own class as a qualified teacher.
You have just received an envelope on your desk. Open it.
When you have finished reading please quietly reflect on these questions:
How does it make you feel reading this?
Can you understand her perspective?
How would you respond?
Is this different to what you’d expect for your children?
How is this different from a non-indigenous mother would like for her child?
Classroom & School Environment
Build a culturally inclusive school and classroom
Promote cultural competency among other staff
Address any racism - encourage a whole-school approach if necessary
Be aware of extended families kinship obligations
Letter from Tina Quitadamo
Found in this weeks reading (Ch 5)
An actual letter from an aboriginal parent.
Awareness & Understandings
Many teachers expect aboriginal students to perform poorly at school.
Many teachers attribute their performance to their family background - not related to teaching practices
"Aboriginal perspectives are not found in Aboriginal content, but Aboriginal processes..."
8ways Aboriginal Pedagogy Framework
Adams, Jeanie, 1991, Going for Oysters, Omnibus Books
Gain some basic knowledge of the community
Value and make use of the strengths of Aboriginal children
Ensure teaching & learning is effective for all
Classroom & School Approaches
Finding your way home.
One in every state and Territory.
Reconnecting Families and communities.
Counseling and social Support
Social and Emotional Well Being Education and Support.
Can you imagine how hard it was for these people to give such personal stories?
Awareness & Understandings
Many aboriginal families have had traumatic experiences at school.
Many experience racism and prejudice everyday.
Understand that Standard English may not be easily understood
Awareness & Understandings
Build relationships with community Elders and involve them in decisions
Be involved in significant cultural events such as NAIDOC week, Survival Day, National Sorry Day
Involve families: organise community events
Invite extended family to all school events
Coyne, D. (2012, July 25). She’s right at home. The Koori Mail. Retrieved from: http://www.koorimail.com/
Bourke, C., Edwards, B. (1998). ‘Family and Kinship’ ‘Australia’s First Peoples: Identity and Population’. Queensland: University of Queensland Press.
"Bringing them home: The 'Stolen Children' report". Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. 2005. Retrieved from:
Edwards, W. (1987).‘Traditional Aboriginal Society and Its Law’. Australia: MacMillan Education Pty Ltd.
Find your way home with LinkUp SA. Retrieved August, 2013, from: http://www.salinkup.com.au/
Golan, S., & Malin, M. (2012) “Teachers and families and working together to build stronger futures for our children in school” (pp. 149 – 173) In Beresford, Q., Partington, G. & Gower, G., (Eds.).. Reform and resistance in Aboriginal education: The Australian experience. (2nd Ed). Crawley, WA: University of Western Australia Press.
Jacob, T. (1991). In The Beginning: A Perspective on Traditional Aboriginal Societies.Western Australia: Ministry of Education.
Malin, M., Campbell, K., & Agius, L. (1996). Raising children in the Nunga Aboriginal way. Family Matters, 43, 43-47.
Malin, M. (1989) Why is life so hard for Aboriginal students in urban classrooms. Aboriginal Child –Northern Territory Teaching Service
NSW Department of Community Services. (2009). Working with Aboriginal people and communities – A practice resource. NSW, Ashfield: Aboriginal Services Branch in consultation with the Aboriginal Reference Group.
Pattel, N. (2007). Aboriginal families, cultural context and therapy, Counseling, Psychotherapy, and Health, 3(1), 1-24
Stolen Generations Testimonies. Retrieved August, 2013, from: http://stolengenerationstestimonies.com/index.php/about_us.html
Strengthening the capacity of Aboriginal children, families and communities: http://www.istp.murdoch.edu.au/ISTP/downloads/silburn2008_ISTP.pdf
Supporting aboriginal and Torres Strait islander children in Kindergarten: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/childhood/parents/support/supportingatsikinder.pdf
The ‘Growing up’ of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children: A literature review: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/05_2012/op15.pdf
At your tables divide yourselves so that the left hand side are Western parents and right hand sand are Aboriginal parents.
Debate your philosophy about your child rearing styles and note your main points onto the sheet provided.
To tell people of our past
So it wont happen again
To tell people how we were treated.
Before I went to Link-UP I had no direction in life. But having a talk with someone from Link-Up has given me a new outlook on life and my world. You see they were very helpful for me as I wanted to meet my family. With time and patience I got to meet my dad for the very first time after 47 years. I am now so complete and happy with my life, I just want to keep on trying to get better.
Stolen Generation Testimonies
It’s part of healing for the individual and the family but it’s also important for the healing of Australia. Some of the demons or the not-so-good things in our history need to be brought out.
"The protection and teaching of children is a community responsibility" (Sims, et al, 2003)
Think back to a picnic experience you had with your family as a child.
What are some key aspects of your family picnic?
- Food; type, serving and manner in which it is eaten
- Boundaries - connection between body and land.
- Responsibilities - of self and of other children
Why rear children in this way?
- Physically and emotionally resilient
- Loyal to their family and kin
- Overall children are 'Grown up' in order to help them deal with and overcome the obstacles that life may throw at them.
Golan, S., & Malin, M. (2012) “Teachers and families and working together to build stronger futures for our children in school” (pp. 149 – 173) In Beresford, Q., Partington, G. & Gower, G., (Eds.). Reform and resistance in Aboriginal education: The Australian experience. (2nd Ed). Crawley, WA: University of Western Australia Press.