New curriculum celebrated

By Ashlea Witoslawski

It was a momentous occasion for many as the Kaiela Dhungala First Peoples Curriculum was launched and celebrated at the Rumbalara Elders Facility yesterday.

Designed for students from Foundation to Year 10, the curriculum incorporates the cultures, histories and knowledge of the Goulburn Murray region’s indigenous peoples while adhering to the current Victorian curriculum.

The project was first started in 2014 as a collaboration between principals, teachers, community members and organisations and Department of Education and Training representatives.

After consulting numerous parties, teachers became involved in the development of resources and schools began the Professional Development Program at the start of 2017.

Forty-three public schools opted to be involved across the Greater Shepparton and Moira local government areas, with 25 implementing the curriculum into their schools in 2017.

The event began with a Welcome To Country, performed by Gowrie Street Primary School students in local Yorta Yorta language.

Marrung and Dahmanmu Bangerang Dance Group entertained the audience with traditional dances and clothing.

Community members and government officials spoke of the importance of this additional curriculum for the young people of our region.

‘‘Education is more important for our kids,’’ local elder Aunty Merle Miller said.

‘‘Fortunately you’re giving our children the opportunity to understand where they came from.

‘‘You’re opening a door,’’ she said.

Department of Education and Training senior education improvement leader Scott Watson congratulated everyone involved in the four-year process and shared his ‘‘commitment to get it (the curriculum) in more schools’’.

‘‘We’re adding relevance to what we’re teaching while paying our respects and appreciating the local Aboriginal culture,’’ he said.