University of Tasmania

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Towards a bran nue day : a discussion about the present and the past for the future

posted on 2023-05-27, 12:18 authored by West, EG
Since 1974 I have, as a result of various simultaneous pressures and opportunity, enjoyed occupying some very important roles in the arena of the politics of Aboriginal education. The roles I have played range from being an employee of the then Education Department, Victoria, Australia, as a member of the teaching staff of Bell Primary School (as an 'in excess' staff member) through to teaching at Alvie Primary/Consolidated School, and from there into Aboriginal Education Services (AES), Myer House, Melbourne, Victoria. There, in association with individuals like Glynn Beaton, the non-Aboriginal supervisor of the service, and Aborigines like Wendy Brabham, Minnie Read, Ambrose Golden-Brown, Alf Bamblett and numerous others, I faced situations which drew from me every emotional response possible regarding the plight of Aboriginal people in general, but certainly Aboriginal children and young adults and their 'relationship' with and access to education and educational opportunity. It was during this fervent period that my colleagues and I were the target of the Victorian Education system's semi-aimless meanderings in firstly, the development of curricula aimed at teaching any or all students some things about Australian Aboriginal cultures, Aboriginal people and an issue that was especially important to us, the degree of racism which was and still is entrenched in the resources available to teachers to undertake such curriculum development; and secondly, though of equal urgency and cardinal importance, were issues relating to the epistemology of education for Aboriginal children of pre-school through to at least year 12. We concentrated our efforts in addressing the issues with absolute confidence in our views of what we 'knew' the actual pedagogy required was, while at the same time developing personal and group expertise of a high order to consolidate our views and remain politically and educationally unchallengeable.


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Copyright 1990 the author Thesis (MEd)--Tasmanian State Institute of Technology. Includes bibliographical references

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