Posted by Lisa Hill on November 23, 2011
Most of the stuff that lands in my pigeonhole at work is either administrivia or wasteful paper catalogues for the library, but every now and again there’s a bit of treasure.
So it is with Meerreeng-an: Here is My Country, The Story of Aboriginal Victoria Told Through Art. It is stunningly gorgeous and every school in Victoria has been lucky enough to receive one.
The Story Cycle is arranged in nine themes arranged to explain central cultural concepts. There are stories and artworks showcasing
- Koorie Creation myths;
- the transmission of culture and law;
- ceremonies, music and dance;
- cloaks, clothing and jewellery, and
- land management, foods, fishing, hunting, weapons and tools
The experience of invasion and conflict is also explored, and resilience is celebrated in the sections about culture and identity, country and kin.
The book has numerous examples of artworks matched with stories which explain Aboriginal culture and beliefs to non-indigenous Australians like me, but for copyright reaseons I’m not able to share the artwork here. However you can see some of it at Culture Victoria and there is also a video that shows how a kangaroo tooth necklace was made. Click these links to get an idea of the contents:
This is a fabulous resource for schools, (and invaluable for the Aboriginal Culture and History Cross-Curriculum Priority in the new Australian Curriculum, but it’s also essential reading for anyone interested in Aboriginal art and culture.
Cross-posted at ANZ LitLovers.
© Lisa Hill
Title: MEERREENG-AN HERE IS MY COUNTRY: The Story of Aboriginal Victoria Told Through Art
Edited by Chris Keeler and Vicki Couzens
Publisher: Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne, 2010
ISBN 978-0-9807863-0-9 (Paperback) ISBN 978-0-9807863-1-6 (Hardback); 256 pp, full colour
You can buy it from the Koorie Heritage Trust RRP $49.95 soft cover; $79.95 hardback
Posted in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Australian Curriculum, Australian History, Book Reviews | Tagged: Aboriginal art and culture, Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Lisa Hill on April 22, 2010
Today I attended a professional development activity called Dare to Lead, presented by Rob Miller at Dandenong South PS. It’s an initiative set up by Principals Australia aimed at improving the teaching of Aboriginal history and culture. They run PD such as conferences and send out regular newsletters about resources and so on. Membership is free and you can sign up online. I attended to find out more to support the implementation of the Wannik Strategy at our school.
Rob stressed the importance of knowing the children you work with: you need to ask where they’re from, whose mob they belong to. He also said that it’s important to have a go, even if you don’t know much about a topic, it’s better to try than do nothing. But when you can, personalise the curriculum so that it’s Victorian, and even better, so that it’s local.
There was a spirited discussion about whether to teach ‘units’ about Aboriginal history, culture and issues, but Rob agreed that including Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum (as we are at MPPS) was a better way to do it. The APAC site (from Western Australia – there isn’t one for Victoria) – has concept maps which show how Aboriginal perspectives can be infused with ideas about Aboriginal history, culture and issues, and there are other resources such as lesson plans too (though of course not all of these are transferable to other states and you need to assess their appropriateness).
If you interested in the work we’ve done at Mossgiel Park, visit the Aboriginal Perspectives page on this blog.
Posted in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Professional Development | Tagged: Aboriginal art and culture, Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum, Dare to lead, Wannik Strategy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Lisa Hill on October 8, 2008
Even if you have an RSS feed for LisaHillSchoolStuff, you won’t be notified of changes to the separate Aboriginal Resources Page on this site - so if you are interested in adding Aboriginal Perspectives to your curriculum you will need to check the page from time to time. (Just click on the menu at the top of the page.)
This year we have been funded by AGQTP to re-design our integrated units to include Aboriginal perspectives. There are now three charts shows how our units can be enriched: VELS Level 1 Minibeasts, Level 2 Food and Level 4 Space. We’re still working on a Level 3 unit…
Posted in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Australian History, Indigenous Teaching Resources, Learning and teaching | Tagged: Aboriginal art and culture, Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Lisa Hill on October 5, 2008
Day One began with Professor Henry Reynolds as Keynote Speaker, and he chose to address the themes of Aboriginal history, Australia’s history of involvement in international wars, and the complexities and contradictions inherent in these themes. As one might expect from the historian who has done more to bring Australia’s Aboriginal history into the spotlight than any other, he was keen to address the three sensitive points in this history: frontier violence, the Stolen Generations, and the Mabo/Wik decisions which rewrote our land laws in 1992 and 1996 respectively. He revisited the ‘history wars’ briefly, and reminded us that the official history written for incoming migrants once included references to these matters, and now does not. (See the full story about this in The Monthly).
He then went on to discuss the militarisation of Australian history during the Howard years. He alluded to new and extensive funding for more and more commemorations, memorials, student pilgramages to Anzac sites, and concern about the bodies of the dead soldiers, bordering on the obsessive in Vietnam. He also noted that the funding and extent of materials from the Department of Veterans Affairs was extraordinary, and – given the non-involvement of government in producing free curriculum resources in other areas – I agree! We have shelves and shelves of stuff from the DVA, most of it unused, because it isn’t appropriate for primary schools, and what makes me really cross is that these materials are exemplary – why can’t the wonderful people who develop them make similarly enticing resources for teaching about the Gold Rush, Federation, Settlement and so on? Why, asked Professor Reynolds, does every soldier have a well-tended grave, and our C19th pioneers do not?
We can’t have it both ways, he says. If we define war as integral to the birth of our nation, then how can we ignore frontier violence? If we believe that we should never forget the Holocaust and the ANZAC experience, why do we tell Aborigines to ‘get over it’? If we use public funding for war memorials, should we do the same for both black and white victims of frontier violence? And if dead bodies of soldiers are so important, how can we say to Aborigines that they should not worry about the treatment of Aboriginal remains? Shouldn’t we search for the Coniston Massacre bodies and bury them with a memorial too?
These are all very challenging issues for us to face, and there was spirited debate afterwards.
Posted in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Australian History | Tagged: Aboriginal art and culture, Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum, HTAA History Teachers Conference | Leave a Comment »