The new school year always has me reflecting on change.
The change in my children as they embark on another year of their education. Their maturity and strength growing as their physical appearances change, those tiny babes I held not so many years ago, transforming into independent strong young people before my eyes.
The changes in their peers as they also grow and develop more independence and forge their own paths. The new friendships they make, and just as importantly the friendships they leave behind.
The opinions and values they share, evolving as they are exposed to more of what this world has to offer, and these experiences influence the person they are becoming and the impact they will ultimately make on the world.
And as I watch them, I can’t help but notice the world around us is also changing. We are an ever evolving society and while I think this is a good thing, I can see that not everyone is as comfortable with the changes.
Aboriginal Education is one of these changes. Everyday I can see the barriers breaking down as educators and parents are more open to including Aboriginal perspectives in the classroom daily and are starting to see the benefits of these inclusions.
We are seeing changes at all levels of education, increases in the amount of inclusions of Aboriginal perspectives in all levels from early childhood through to university. And with that comes a recognition of how important including this information in formal education is. Inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives supports the development of a shared knowledge and a way forward. It helps with healing for Aboriginal people who still deal with the trauma of past practices every single day. It reduces racism, it builds confidence in Aboriginal kids and it ultimately helps create more equipped future leaders by encouraging empathy, understanding and awareness. These skills are important to prospective employers who are increasingly looking for staff who understand issue impacting on Aboriginal people and are able to contribute to social responsibility initiatives being implemented by organisations.
Change is here. It is slow but it is beginning. Kids today are starting to learn the things that have been missing from education for far too long and I think Australia will be better for it.
I hope the first few weeks of school have gone well for you and you're enjoying the changes unfolding before you.
Wingaru Education believes that all children should have access to quality education about Aboriginal people and culture.