Firstly, Re Ralph’s comment: “Fantastic that Alison has taken the …

Comment on Cape York lessons for Centre’s schools? by Diane de Vere.

Firstly, Re Ralph’s comment: “Fantastic that Alison has taken the initiative in exploring ways to lift remote school outcomes.”
I first met Alison in 1992 when my role was to implement the education component of the FEPPI endorsed community document “Minimum Requirements for Education at Papunya,” as well as fulfilling the AEP 21 goals and the NT Education department’s stated requirements.
This resulted in a 10 year community school partnership that explored new ways to design, develop and deliver culturally inclusive education that included the whole community in the process.
The community owned, highly acclaimed “Papunya Model of Education” was unfortunately abandoned in 2001 as the result of the political decision to phase out bilingual education, deeming skilled indigenous educators and the school’s leadership team as redundant.
Interestingly, key components of the Papunya model were transferred to the successful implementation of a CY Institute’s initiative – the Aurukun Youth Strategy 2003-2004.
Again, for political reasons this fully documented initiative that exceeded expectations and goals was abandoned because it challenged the limitations of the providers and required transparency and accountability that funding sources were not prepared to give.
Although I see DI as yet another attempt to address the deficit in education systems to provide teachers with the skills, attitudes and expertise necessary to deliver quality teaching and learning in remote bilingual bicultural ESL – EFL settings, I would not want a child or grandchild of mine to be subjected to its limitations.
As someone said, it has been used in the US for over 50 years. There are I believe better ways to address the challenges providing access to quality education in remote locations, for example investment in multimedia software and the training of local teaching teams to deliver world class TEFL courses such as the Korean “Little Fox” or the “Super Kids” programs.
Key to success in any of these initiatives / methodologies is to focus on the recipients’ needs rather than fitting individuals into the ad hoc randomness of programs being thrown at communities for reasons of convenience and the dollars they generate.
This results in community ownership and empowerment that leads to motivation, personal goal setting and pride in achievement.
Recruited staff and service providers need to be given direct instruction and coached into appropriate ways to work with and learn from the community they are visiting.
Alison Anderson, Noel Pearson, Don Anderson, Bernie Denigan – bring in the expert educational practitioners and leaders who have a proven record of success in delivering programs. Those who know how to bring all stakeholders together and hold everyone accountable.
They / we hold the key, the mechanisms, the tools that can bring your vision into reality.

Recent Comments by Diane de Vere

Alice councillor tells nation’s media about Aboriginal brutality
It is my opinion that the problems have been deliberately created by those in power – the powerful global elite who are driving this – then co-opting concerned individuals and families [Ruddocks 5 point plan] to further their cause using the elite media to cover certain aspects of the story that suite their agenda, to justify and then provide the “solution” that is in fact waiting ready to go.
A new partnership coming from think tank CIS Centre of Independent Studies.
The Solution. Holding the elite accountable – stopping the harm, stopping the propaganda, the lies the coverups, punishing the perpetrators.
Truth and Reparation, with justice comes healing. Foster Community based solutions. Healing teaching and learning. There are several models that could show the way, but these answers / solutions do not suit the political agendas.


Alice councillor tells nation’s media about Aboriginal brutality
I can hear you Jacinta and thank you for the courage to speak out.
I ask everyone who reads this to watch or rewatch the FourCorners report into the Dondale Detention Centre, and ask who are the perpetrators of this government sanctioned military style torture, mind control and abuse.
Here we see violent, sadistic and fanatical brutality perpetrated on childen, by groups of grown men trained in the use of force and interrogation techniques based on the mind control psychological experiments, known to terrorize and break the mind body and spirit – causing polyfragmentation of the psyche.
These perpetrators are employed by Northern Territory department executives who are politically directed and supported by government ministers, politicians and big business.
Have they been arrested yet? Will those in ultmate power be exposed and held to account?
Jailed for fraud, assault – or will the truth about the genocidal practices in this country remain covered up?


Before and after that famous handful of sand
Thanks Tim. It is not the Individual but the System he [Ruddock] represents, the political machine. And yes they must be held accountable and he would be a good one to start with, The father of the House.

My personal comment was a response to the education thread in Kieran’s review. How the stockmen’s “aspirations included a fully bilingual school, where Gurindji children would be equipped for independence in the contemporary world, but also educated in their traditional law and culture.”
“Ward points out that Aboriginal self-determination was the policy of DAA, but that was only one agency providing services in Kalkaringi and Daguragu. The Department of Education, for example, resisted the Gurindji elders’ desire for a genuine two-way school.”

“The Gurindji had a vision about where the school should be – in Daguragu – and their own involvement with it,” says Ward. “There would be whitefella teachers, but the elders would also teach culture and law, it had been clearly articulated over a 15 year period.”

“What they got instead was a school in Kalkaringi, delivering a largely mainstream program, with the elders allocated just one lesson a week for language and culture. Their vision was never realised.”

This pattern has been repeated over and over.

“Ward’s account stops in the mid-80s and he is reluctant to comment on present-day circumstances, even if he wants readers to draw out the story’s contemporary relevance for themselves, in particular to use hindsight to invigorate more discussion about the role of government in remote communities, whether it’s fit for purpose, whether there are ways it could be modified, and approaches changed.”
Tim believe me I know of this struggle and as an educator who has worked with the traditional elders of the central western desert who shared this same vision, [I refer to the Pintupi Kintore 1980’s] I now bear witness to the devastating impact on the children and families of these wise visionary leaders.

Herron, Howard, Ruddock, Shane Stone to name a few set the agenda and orchestrated the plan, announcing self determination and self management did not work. Thirty years of reforms, restructuring, secret behind closed door agreements, disenfranchise and divide communities and fail to deliver services.– while politically selected highly paid Government ministers and senior executives are shuffled around never being held to account.

Am looking forward to reading Charlie Ward’s book.


Before and after that famous handful of sand
I agree Phil, thankyou Kieran. Let’s address the education story. Federal and Territory agendas.Time for some truths. We need to hold those who have been in power accountable.
I recently spoke with Philip Ruddock, asked him about his Five Point Plan – definitely linked to national education management. Asked him if he felt it was linked to the suicide epidemic – he gave me his new card. The Hon Philip Ruddock. Special Envoy for Human Rights. 2018-2020 as candidate for the United Nations Human Rights Council. He invited me to come and see him.
Maybe he could be interviewed and with many others held accountable.


A Dorothy Dixers free day and pollies’ interests on web
I like this bit: “These changes have been developed with a view to placing more scrutiny on government, and to insuring open and transparent government.”


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