@ Howard Davies Yes many examples of academic success/achievement – I …

Comment on Indigenous education review: no more ‘biliteracy’; boarding for secondary students by Diane de Vere.

@ Howard Davies
Yes many examples of academic success/achievement – I will cite one specific to your comment. The following is a statement to the Principal of Papunya school from the Principal at Yirara college 15 August 2001. He makes observations of Papunya students enrolled at Yirara in “recent years”.
“A number of students have been able to be placed in the top academic classes upon arrival for the first time to the school. The English literacy and numeracy levels of some of these students have been close to age for grade … a high percentage are able to cope with mainstream academic work.”
He goes on to talk about attitudes and understandings of western environment expectations within the school setting. And concludes: “I wish to commend you, your staff, your school council and parent community for the good work being done through the Papunya school and wish you every success in your endeavours.”
I might add that at this time the school was managing the Papunya Wadu “Learning for Life” project, a demonstration project providing remote secondary aged students and adult indigenous students with multimedia industry training in the local community.
The focus was on Publishing Broadcasting and Communication and Technology – something where the students excel, real education, highly successful.

Diane de Vere Also Commented

Indigenous education review: no more ‘biliteracy’; boarding for secondary students
@Howard Davies. A big ask but thanks for the challenge.
“These issues are the ones that need addressing – and the skilled educators-practitioners with a proven record of success need to be brought to the table to advise politicians, policy makers and providers with the tools and mechanisms to Deliver the Goods.”
I will use one example [there are many across Australia] “to attempt to answer the two questions. Lots of quotes sorry. You will need to do some research and connect some dots.
“What is the success and what is the proven record of it?
“
“What policy makers making what policies delivering what goods with what tools and mechanisms? The following points refer to the action research “Papunya Model of Education”.

1. Excerpts from my response to the Bruce Wilson review team. A letter to Ken Davies October 2013. “I have said in previous correspondence to you and your predecessors I have fully documented exemplars that demonstrate processes and mechanisms that are essential to the successful delivery of educational services in community learning environments.”
“In 1992 A FEPPI meeting was held at Papunya and the community ‘Minimum Requirements for Education at Papunya’ was endorsed and provided direction and guidelines for the innovative ground breaking work that became known as ‘The Papunya Model of Education 1992-2001′. This community driven curriculum model that evolved at Papunya was inspired by the Pintupi vision for both ways education and the work of Anangu and Yolngu educators working with indigenous leaders and academics across Australia.”
See 1987 Kintore: Kevin Keeffe: From the Centre to the City. Aboriginal Education Culture and Power. Also Statement re: Education Smithy Zimran, Co-ordinator of the Kalkaringi Constitutional Convention, August 1998.
I supplied DVDs providing evidence of these achievements.
Papunya Restructuring [our School] 1996: A Community School National Schools Network initiative.
Katu Kalpa Curriculum Frameworks Workshop 2000. Presented by the Papunya School Staff to the NTED Curriculum Frameworks team and several regional schools staff.
Aurukun Youth Strategy: 2003-4 showing how the principles of teaching and learning and the pedagogical practices developed at Papunya were refined, adapted, contextualised and transferred to meet the requirements of the Cape York Partnership – Literacy Numeracy Workplace Readiness component of the AYS.

2. Alice Springs News archives. August 30, 2000
PAPUNYA SCHOOL: THE CENTRE OF ITS STUDENTS’ UNIVERSE! Report by KIERAN FINNANE

3. The award winning “Papunya School Book of Country and History” was launched in Alice Springs by Dr Yunupingu.
” During the period 1998 to 2001, Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle worked as consultants at the school at Papunya where they assisted Anangu staff and students to develop resources for the school’s own Indigenous curriculum, known as the Papunya Model of Education.
Through this experience, Nadia and Ken were introduced to the Indigenous principles of learning that have inspired and informed the six non-fiction books they have produced – whether as author, illustrator, designer, mentor or compiler. This way of learning recognises country as both the starting point and the centre of all understanding. Collaborative, holistic and experiential, this educational model also honours the learning that children do at home and in their community, and the traditional wisdom passed down by the Elders. With the permission of its practitioners, Nadia and Ken used the Papunya Model of Education with a group of culturally diverse students in suburban Sydney. This project, showcased in the book Going Bush, proved that even city kids love learning from country.”

4. The following are some excerpts from Yalmay Yunupingu’s speech at the State funeral to honor the legacy of her husband Dr Yunupingu’s life. See the full Speech and also the tribute to Dr Marika who greatly influenced the development of the leadership team at Papunya School.
“In 1991 he wrote the story of this work in a paper called “Language and Power: the Yolŋu rise to power at Yirrkala School” which details the work he and Mr Wäli Wunuŋmurra did with the Yolŋu Action Group and the School Council.
He had a strong belief in Aboriginalisation of the school and worked with Batchelor College to support community-based teacher education as we worked towards becoming trained Yolŋu teachers. In the time from 1988 until 1995 seven more Yolŋu teachers gained teaching qualifications at Yirrkala and Yirrkala homelands schools.
His vision for the Yothu Yindi foundation included the incorporation of Yolŋu cultural knowledge and languages in southern universities. He imagined southern tertiary students coming to Arnhem land to do formal learning with respected Yolŋu elders. In turn our new graduates from Yolŋu schools would enrol in southern universities and gain tertiary qualifications. He always saw the two knowledge systems needed to be balanced, not allowing western knowledge to take first place or to poison us. He was a man who believed in balance. Yolŋu knowledge had to come first and bring the western knowledge in later.”
“My husband always kept strong contacts with other Batchelor College and Deakin University graduates working across the Northern Territory who were working on bothways curriculum and Aboriginal pedagogy. He was a member of FEPPI, the first Northern Territory Aboriginal Consultative group. He was a signatory to the national AEP (Aboriginal Education Policy) 21 goals. In 2001 at the Yipirinya Festival in Alice Springs he launched the award winning Papunya School Book of Country and History, celebrating the curriculum model developed by Papunya school staff, students and community members using the AEP policy guidelines. Whenever community people asked him for support he was there to give hope and strength against the forces of assimilation which still face us to-day.”


Indigenous education review: no more ‘biliteracy’; boarding for secondary students
I will now read the rest of the report.


Indigenous education review: no more ‘biliteracy’; boarding for secondary students
My Polemic. The first line did it: “Bruce Wilson’s report released today does not support “continued efforts to use biliteracy approaches”.
Having just seen Pilger’s Utopia and noticing not a word about the failure of governments to provide quality education [in some cases any education] to students in remote communities. Thought maybe we need a follow up film to expose some of the hidden truths – systematic strategies, silenced stories, orchestrated political propaganda as to the real reason education in remote communities is not working. Until this is understood and addressed nothing will work.
In December 1998 the announcement was made to phase out Bilingual Education programs and replace them with English only programs.
This came about as the results of similar reviews and subsequent recommendations as this one.
Schools that were providing effective models of two way education using a multiliteracy and culturally inclusive approach harnessing the rich resources within the community, were dismantled, teachers removed and the wisdom and skills of the Indigenous, elders, educators families and students were no longer required.
In fact if one connects the dots this “takeover” was in my opinion the precursor for the intervention because programs that demonstrated, empowered community driven initiatives [and there were many] were not wanted.
Also the people working in close partnerships with the community were removed and discredited. People were worn down and there was a loss of spirit, hope and a sense of alienation and disbelief immobilised people into passivity.
New mostly monolingual inexperienced staff were brought in and Principals were rotated through “recalcitrant” schools and communities to implement the new directive and re write history.
During the process there has been an extremely high turnover of selected temporary principals, the removal of experienced multilingual assistant teachers, and expert indigenous educators / leaders were marginalised, silenced and removed from positions, secondary aged programs closed, contradictory often authoritarian mandates and instructions from afar, constant changes to curriculum policy, methodology and practice, the list goes on.
These issues are the ones that need addressing – and the skilled educators-practitioners with a proven record of success need to be brought to the table to advise politicians, policy makers and providers with the tools and mechanisms to Deliver the Goods. Working together with Anangu in front.
There are many experienced teachers who know that high levels of attendance, engagement, performance and commitment become a natural consequence when people are given a voice, a role and the means to take responsibility and ownership for their efforts. The celebration and public recognition of these achievements results in improved health and community wellbeing.


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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