An Indigenous school and learning community in the ACT? Opportunity, context and rationale

Author/editor: Sutherland, D
Year published: 2003
Issue no.: 258


In an effort to move towards a whole-of-government approach to service delivery to Indigenous communities, the Council Of Australian Governments has developed a Reconciliation Framework that is designed to advance the process of reconciliation and address Indigenous disadvantage. Incorporating the concept of shared responsibility, it formulates the basis for a new way of doing business in partnership with Indigenous communities. This initiative is being trialled in 10 Indigenous communities across Australia including the Indigenous community in the ACT, under the rubric of Indigenous Community Co-ordination Pilots.

This paper examines a number of reasons why an Indigenous school is a viable option for consideration in the context of the Indigenous Community Coordination Pilot in the ACT. The paper provides an overview of current policy formulation with a specific emphasis on the concept of social capital and how it might be used to facilitate both learning and the establishment of networks within and around the school that support the educational process. It reviews the principles underpinning recent initiatives in Indigenous education that have worked to encourage improved participation, engagement and outcomes. It advocates the development of an urban Indigenous educational philosophy based in the lived experience and culture of Indigenous people living in contemporary urban environments, and in their aspirations for the future.

The key points of the discussion are then synthesised in order to inform the development of a model that moves beyond the traditional parameters and concept of the school to bring together the school, parents, families and community in an Indigenous learning community.

ISBN: 0 7315 5633 X

ISSN:1036 1774

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