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Culture in Schools

Nita Education - Culture in Schools

Through the Culture in Schools initiative Nita Education is creating awareness of how our Aboriginal ancestors cared for Country and is inspiring students to discover more about sustainability. Tasmanian Aboriginal People have lived in Tasmania for over 42,500 years, through at least 2 ice ages and for more than 2000 generations. Our ancestors cared for the land, and in return it cared for us. Our ancestors are the original scientists, doctors, botanists, geologists, chemists, astronomers, navigators, story tellers, bakers and the experts at sustainable living.

Aim of the initiative: To increase awareness for Tasmania’s Aboriginal Culture, to give students insight into the oldest living culture on Earth.
Target audience: Students K-12
Organisation mission: Nita Education provides Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural experiences to all schools and businesses across Southern Tasmania.
Contact: Trish Hodge, trish@nita.education
Status: Ongoing
More information: NITA Education website
Organisations involved: Catholic Education, TAFE Tasmania, Aboriginal Education, Steiner Schools, Independent Schools, Rob Pennicott, Federal Group, Parks and Wildlife, Sustainability Center, Department of Health.

What were your educational messages?

Tasmanian Aboriginal People have lived in Tasmania for at least 42,500 years, through at least 2 ice ages and for more than 2000 generations. Our ancestors cared for the land, and in return it cared for us. Our ancestors are the original scientists, doctors, botanists, geologists, chemists, astronomers, navigators, story tellers, bakers and the experts at sustainable living.

How has your project contributed towards education for sustainability?

By creating awareness of how our ancestors cared for Country we are inspiring our students to discover more about sustainability.

Description of the education for sustainability initiative (including innovative features)

Schools book us to visit classes, or they arrange excursions on Country which we lead. Our lessons/excursions are linked to the Australian Curriculum and tailor the individual class needs. We cover many unique subjects as well as broad indigenous knowledge. There are very few people in Tasmania able to deliver what we do, we are also in the process of offering cultural traineeships to Aboriginal youth.

Key social, cultural, economic or environmental sustainability messages delivered

Tasmanian Aboriginal People have lived in Tasmania for at least 42,500 years, through at least 2 ice ages and for more than 2000 generations. Our ancestors cared for the land, and in return it cared for us. Our ancestors are the original scientists, doctors, botanists, geologists, chemists, astronomers, navigators, story tellers, bakers and the experts at sustainable living.
The very essence of what we do is sustainability, for education, environment, social, economic and most of all, for cultural sustainability.

Changes in behaviour achieved (or expected)

Increased awareness, understanding and empathy for Tasmanian Aboriginal people and heritage will inevitably change behaviours regarding reconciliation, racism and cultural awareness.

Outcomes and measures of success

Outcomes to date include:
– Ongoing employment for Aboriginal people – measured through increased school bookings
– More Aboriginal students being proud of their heritage and culture
– Support from high level business such as Federal Group and Rob Pennicott – measured through the ongoing consultative work such as cultural training for tour guides.
– 14 years working with the Parks and Wildlife Discovery Ranger (Summer Education) program
– Increased bookings with TAFE Tasmania for the Tourism courses – bookings are now coming through for 2019!

Likelihood that the organisation can sustain the initiative (for how long?)

This is ongoing. For as long Aboriginal culture is a part of the Australian curriculum and for as long as the need for cultural awareness is required.