An educational series created by young Indigenous students was officially launched this week at Parliament House in Canberra with help from four of the students who contributed to its creation.
Shae, Orlando, Josie and Jayde shared parts of their cultures and lives for Our Land, Our Stories and were invited to the official Parliament House launch ceremony.
Over 35 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary school students helped produce the new educational resource; three series of books created to educate young students about Australia’s First Nations Peoples, their cultures and their heritage.
The resource was created by and in consultation with Indigenous Australians for all levels of primary school, with each of the book series being allocated to lower, middle and upper primary levels.
Created over three years, this ground-breaking resource also allows Indigenous students to see themselves represented in their education courses.
The series was created in partnership with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and draws heavily from their collections.
AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie said this resource will address the gaps in cultural education that are currently present in Australian primary school curriculum.
“It is vital that we create opportunities for young people to engage with the rich, diverse and enduring heritage of Australia’s First Peoples,” Mr Ritchie said.
“An historical absence of this teaching in the Australian Curriculum, coupled with a legacy of misrepresentation and continuing deficit discourses makes it all the more crucial that we build the knowledge of current and future generations.”
Story cards, an online gallery and teacher resource books are also included with each primary level’s resource – including rare photographs and over 450 images from the AIATSIS collection.
Produced by prominent educational publisher Nelson Cengage, Our Land, Our Stories aims to assist teachers in confidently educating their students about the world’s oldest living cultures.
Vice President of the School Division at Nelson Cengage, Nicole McCarten said developing this educational resource is one of the company’s greatest achievements.
“Through using this resource, we hope students and educators will embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia histories and cultures,” Ms McCarten said.
“Our Land, Our Stories offers an opportunity to not only enrich the understanding of future citizens about our nation’s history and identity, it offers an opportunity to deepen our understanding about what it means to be an Australian.”