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  • 2.061ATSI  

    Students today are immersed in a globalising world that is marked by rapid scientific and technological growth. As technology advances, we are challenged to collaborate with schools and lead new pedagogical models for learning and teaching, incorporating new technologies in the classroom and providing new learning spaces to meet the needs of students. 

    Theme 2: Quality Teaching for all Learners, Catholic Education Melbourne Strategic Plan 2015–2019 

    Personal Story

     

    Saran Kim
    Year 12 Student, Mater Christi College, Belgrave

    Overview

    Educating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Catholic schools is underpinned and supported by two key strategies:

    1. The Catholic Education Melbourne To Serve and Lead: Strategic Plan 2015–2019 
    2. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010–2014

    (Note: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2015 was endorsed in September 2015).

    The key priorities include:

    • providing cultural and educational support
    • improving attendance, retention and participation rates
    • involving parents in their children’s education
    • professional Learning activities.

    Cultural safety, mentor support, parent support and community connections have also featured as key factors that have led to successful outcomes.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
    Student Data 2015
    Student Numbers
    Primary 299
    Secondary 282
    Total 581
       
    Year Level  
    Preps 47
    Year 1 44
    Year 2 56
    Year 3 33
    Year 4 50
    Year 5 35
    Year 6 34
    Year 7 59
    Year 8 48
    Year 9 46
    Year 10 44
    Year 11 56
    Year 12 29
    Total  581 

    More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative (MATSITI)

    ATSI-2 

    The ‘More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative’, also known as MATSITI, is a project established in 2011 to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working as teachers in Australian schools.

    This has included the implementation of several research projects, workshops and programs to support more enrolments in teaching degrees and retain teachers in the profession.

    The Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) applied for MATSITI funding grant in September 2014 which was successful. The project is titled: Leadership Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers and Koorie Education Workers in Catholic Schools.

    The intended outcomes of the project are:

    • To provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers and Koorie Education Workers (project participants) with the opportunities and skills to apply for leadership positions in their schools;
    • That the project participants will encourage other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers to aspire to leadership positions;
    • That the project participants will become promoters of teaching as career of choice.

    'This is important business. This is your business. Your presence as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples offers something to Australian society that is difficult to define, but invaluable to learning. You have put up your hand to go into unfamiliar territory and make new commitments to enrich your own learning. MATSITI recognises this and we will wholeheartedly contribute to such an important endeavour.'

    Stephen Elder, Executive Director, Catholic Education Melbourne

    Djaambi (Friend) Day

    Djaambi Day is a biannual event that was initiated by Catholic Education Melbourne in 2004 to nurture Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ connection with their culture and the importance of education. On 7 August 2015, workshops were held that contained literacy, numeracy and cultural components to show students that culture is present in their classroom learnings. The major objective of Djaambi Day is to create a friendly and open environment where young people share a rich cultural experience and actively participate as individuals and in groups.

    ATSI Djaambu Day 2 

    Djaambi Day, at Narana Creations in Grovedale

    Watta Watnanda Education & Cultural Day

    The annual Watta Watnanda Education & Cultural Day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Secondary Students was held on Friday 24 July 2015 at the Korin Gamadji Institute at the Richmond Football Club.

    One-hundred and ten secondary students from the Archdiocese of Melbourne along with staff, parents, Koorie Education Workers and Aboriginal community members were given an opportunity to gather together and live the National NAIDOC theme of ‘We Stand On Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect & Celebrate’. Inspirational leaders like Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Bill Nicholson, who began the day with a Welcome to Country and the Very Rev Anthony Kerin, shared stories which gave a sense of their humanity and commitment to justice.

    The success of the day was due to the collaborative efforts of the staff from Catholic Education Melbourne, the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s Office for Justice & Peace, Richmond Football Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute, Australian Catholic University’s Jim-baa-yer’s Indigenous Unit and the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry of Victoria. They worked diligently to design a program that engaged and connected students with each other and the contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander story of Melbourne.

    Watta-Wattnanda 2 

    Clonard students from Herne Hill dancing up country

    Worlds of Work Week for Year 10 Students

    The World of Work Program (WOW) was implemented by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) in conjunction with the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA).

    The program ran from the 7–11 September and involved 15 Year 10 students who registered for the residential program in Melbourne. The workshops were designed to build the student’s strengths, communication skills and broaden their aspirations.

    WOW is an innovative program that provides the students with an environment that enables them to find answers to an essential question: ‘What does it take to succeed in the world of life and work?

    Year 12 Graduation Dinner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students

    The 2015 Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students Graduation dinner was held on Wednesday 16 October at the Catholic Leadership Centre, East Melbourne, for 74 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The Dioceses of Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst were also included. The night commenced with Welcome to Country by Uncle Colin Hunter, Wurundjeri Elder, followed by response from Dr Paul Sharkey, Director, Catholic Education Melbourne and Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc (VAEAI) representative Mr Lionel Bamblett.

    The night was well attended by approximately 120 family and friends. Guests included CECV staff, VAEAI staff and school personnel. When each student was presented with a Wathaurong Glass plague and certificate, it gave the opportunity for parents, guardian or staff member to speak about their child/student. The dinner acknowledged the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students for their successful education journey and beginning their cultural rite passage into the next phase of their life.

    ATSI Yr12Grad 

    Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Victorian Catholic schools at their Graduation Dinner

    Professional Learning Activities

    Professional Learning Activity  Number of Participants 
    School-based staff development:  
    • St Paul’s School, East Bentleigh
     
    50
    • Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak (whole school)
     
    120
    • Staff Retreat, Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak
     
    25
    More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative (MATSITI) Professional Learning for Aboriginal Teachers in Catholic Schools – five days 25
    Other Aboriginal Perspectives professional learning programs were conducted for:  
    • Teachers at Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville
     
    40
    • Teachers working with Caritas Australia at Brigidine Centre, Albert Park
     
    50
    • Brigidine Schools students Social Justice day at
     
    22
    • St Bernadette’s School, Ivanhoe (Cluster) Healthy Schools Banyule Forum
     
    25
    • New Arrivals staff with Margaret Nutbean at CLC – Aboriginal English
     
    6
    • Teachers working in New Arrivals & EAL/D – Aboriginal English & EAL/D at CLC East Melbourne
     
    40
    Total 382

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