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Ron Murray: Training Teachers in Indigenous Studies

Session Info:

Ron’s Indigenous Awareness workshops with school teachers offer an opportunity for teachers to gain insight into Australia’s Indigenous culture, history and contemporary issues through personal narrative.  In particular, Ron’s training gives teachers the opportunity to learn from Ron how to engage better with Indigenous students, and to learn new skills in teaching units on Indigenous culture.  Many teachers feel ill equipped in teaching Indigenous studies, in terms of knowing what books to use, what resources to draw from, and which local elders they can link up with in their regions.

Ron Murray’s approach to the training session challenges his participants. He uses ‘his’ cultural tools of oral information, history and storytelling to convey the information. Ron draws upon his unique life experience; his storytelling technique encourages the group to look within their own value system and identify areas where their communication is challenged. By presenting an organic oral approach, Ron’s sessions encourage deep listening and discussion.

  • Positive stories: the contributions of Aboriginal people to the Australian way of life
  • Linking past to present: how European settlement impacts on today’s Indigenous communities; and also with a focus on Victorian local history and local issues
  • The importance of culture and country to Aboriginal people: with a discussion of Ron’s Artifact collection, sacred places and objects (Victorian cultural focus)
  • Indigenous stories: bringing alive connections to/ and protection of country, family and totems. The debate between written and oral histories.
  • Myths and stereotypes about Indigenous people – key issues and key barriers faced
  • Understanding Indigenous family structures, appropriate terminology, elders, tribal boundaries: and how this impacts upon working with Indigenous people
  • Indigenous cultural practices and knowledge, sensitivities and protocols, and how they affect communication
  • Connecting with, engagement and working with Indigenous students
  • Enriching curriculum, resources and strategies of teaching Indigenous studies units.

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