The Koori Classroom Teacher Professional Learning Workshop for school teachers was recently held at Sydney Olympic Park.
The workshop, which is held around three times a year, draws on the knowledge of Shannon Foster, a D’harawal knowledge keeper who imparts ‘inside information’ about culture, science, language and the sustainable use of local resources by Aboriginal people. Throughout the day Shannon, whose family come from the La Peruse area of Sydney, shares many stories of her own lived experience as part of the ‘saltwater’ people of Sydney.
Photo: James Horan
Set amongst the beautiful backdrop of Bicentennial Park, the Badu Mangroves provide a living case study for the day. Teachers start at the Education Centre with a cultural interpretation session and then try a bush tucker morning tea. Teachers then venture out into the parklands to learn about flora and fauna, and experience hands-on traditional weaving and string making.
Attendees also learn that Sydney Olympic Park was originally inhabited by the Wangal (Wanne – Name of the country/land ; Gal – Man; Galeon – Woman). The Wangal were one of the first clans to make initial contact with the Europeans within ten days of their arrival in Sydney Cove, with one of the most notable Wangal people being Bennelong (who travelled to England with Arthur Phillip).
Lucy, a teacher from St Joseph’s Rockdale says, “The presenters were so knowledgeable. I am inspired to share so much with staff and colleagues. I will also share the stories with my own children.”
Photo: James Horan
The course is designed to give teachers the confidence to infuse engaging, authentic, Aboriginal content into their classroom. The new Australian Curriculum prioritises the teaching of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives as one of three major cross-curricular themes.
Completing the Koori Classroom Teacher Professional Learning Workshop contributes 5 hours of NESA-accredited PD addressing 1.4.2, 2.4.2, 6.2.2, 7.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.
The next Koori Classroom workshops will be held on 4 August and 1 December 2017.
For bookings and more information visit sydneyolympicpark.com.au, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 9714 7888.