We all have a responsibility to help forge stronger connections to the oldest living culture on earth, and to celebrate the remarkable achievements, passion and resilience of our First Nations people. With the growing number of online resources, it is easier than ever to bring that knowledge and awareness into our classrooms. Here are just a few.
Headed up by Daniel Browning – a descendant of the Bundjalung people of NSW and the Kullilli people of south-western Queensland – this Aboriginal arts and culture program is one of ABC Radio National’s finest listens. An engaging resource for introducing an Indigenous perspective, the show has recently looked at the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra, the longest continuous protest ever staged. ABC’s broader Indigenous portal is also an extraordinary resource.
This hour-long podcast goes out at a very school-friendly 9am weekdays. Produced by the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association, it offers an engaging and insightful talkshow-style look at current affairs through a First Nations lens. Gamilaraay, Kooma and Muruwari man Boe Spearim co-hosts with Karina Hogan, who hails from a big Aboriginal and South Sea Islander family. On Fridays, musician Dan Rennie takes up the baton.
Gamilaroi man Luke Pearson founded the IndigenousX Twitter account in 2012 in response to barriers preventing First Nations voices from finding a platform in traditional Australian media. His solution was simple in practice but grand in ambition. Each week, a new host takes on the @IndigenousX handle, utilising it to broadcast fresh perspectives. Hundreds of custodians have since shared thousands of stories with an ever-growing audience.
National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition
Co-founded by Darumbal and South Sea Islander Hayley McQuire, a passionate activist for an Australian education system centred on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth voices and First Nations pedagogy. Recognising the inequity of a system that does not value culture, languages and community, NIYEC is a strong voice for change: they ran the recent Learn Our Truth survey on Indigenous youth experience of the education system. Offers features and classroom resources, including a focus on the Frontier Wars, and links to the filmmakers of In My Blood it Runs.
Seeking to shape the narrative and develop a racially literate nation, AITSIS provides teacher professional development, a schools program and resources linked to the national curriculum, including an informative Indigenous map of Australia. It’s also caretaker to an expanding collection of more than one million items related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories. aiatsis.gov.au/explore
From its humble beginnings in 2007, NITV has expanded into Australia’s major source of Indigenous-themed TV – documentaries, series and films – now freely available on Channel 34 and SBS On Demand. NITV’s programming for children, Jarjums, is full of fun and educational First Nations content from Australia and around the world.
This beautifully illustrated site is an invaluable tool to help primary-aged kids grasp the concept of Culture and what it means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in a fun, easily digestible way. A collaboration between Elders, Indigenous organisations and government, it was designed to support First Nations children in out-of-home care. But the appeal is much broader, walking visitors through the concepts of community, country and cultural values using interactive games, puzzles and profiles of fascinating people.
The Koori History Website
If your students get excited about history projects, then this treasure trove will keep them engaged for hours. The brainchild of Gumbainggir activist, academic, writer and actor Dr Gary Foley, it collects reams of his astute writings on Aboriginal history, shines a light on those who have fought for equality and justice, and collects incredible video, audio and pictorial gems.
The 50 Words Project
Do your students know how to say ‘hello’ in the language of the First Nation they live on? Led by the University of Melbourne, this project aims to provide 50 words in every Indigenous language of Australia. Search an interactive digital map to hear language from across the continent. Words are provided with community permission and with audio provided by a language speaker.