Enhancing Koorie cultural inclusion

Supportive and inclusive classrooms help students feel connected to their school and engaged with their learning.

Students enjoy greater success when teaching incorporates and values their identity, language and culture.

In Victoria, we are committed to acknowledging and celebrating the rich and thriving culture, knowledge and experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in our classrooms and schools.

This Professional Practice Note helps schools develop a strong foundation for Koorie cultural inclusion. This inclusion will support all Victorian learners to develop their understanding of the contributions of Australia's First Nations Peoples.

A deeper understanding of Koorie culture, history and experience

For all Victorian learners, fostering a connection with the local community, the place and Country on which the school stands is an important preliminary step to building awareness of Aboriginal presence and contributions; this understanding broadens our ideas of identity and belonging.

At all ages and stages of learning, there are positive and empowering ways in which the diverse culture, languages, knowledges and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples can be included and visible in classrooms.

You can start your journey by supporting local knowledge of Koorie culture, history and experience. This contribution will expand your students' awareness and understanding of reconciliation, human rights and values.

Reflect on your current understanding

The questions below can help you to start your own reflection:

  • What do I know about the Koorie perspective of history for the land where my school is situated?
  • What is the Koorie name for this Country where I stand?
  • What is the local Koorie language?
  • Where or to whom can I go to find out if my school has an existing relationship with a KESO, local Elder or the Koorie Community?
  • What Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural symbols are visible within my school and in my classroom?
  • What do I know about Australia's First Nations Peoples and the National Reconciliaiton commitment and process?
  • What do I know about the Victorian Treaty Process?
  • In my learning area, where are there meaningful examples of Koorie perspectives embedded within teaching and learning programs?
  • Has a review of teaching and learning programs specifically considered the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and content to achieve continuity in student as students progress through their schooling?

Individual professional development resources

Deadly Questions – You Ask. Aboriginal Victorians Answer. This website is an opportunity to learn about Aboriginal Victorians – their histories, cultures, connection to place and hopes for the future.

The campaign has been developed as part of the Victorian Government's commitment to self-determination and Treaty. This agreement will formally recognise and celebrate Aboriginal Victorians' unique status, rights and cultures.

This video produced by the University of Sydney, asks Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people questions about stereotypes that confront them: Ask us anything: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This resource can help answer some obvious questions about our First Nations cultures and introduce you and your students to some of the difficulties and opportunities they face.

Explore the latest professional practice note

A professional practice note has been developed to support you and your colleagues to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders cultural inclusion practices in all Victorian government schools.

For more information, or to share your feedback, email: professional.practice@edumail.vic.gov.au