At the National Education Summit in Brisbane on 4-5 August 2023, The Healing Foundation invited educators to come and have a yarn about their role in healing, and to explore how the Stolen Generations Resource Kit can help in the classroom.
“The National Education Summit allowed us to get up close and personal with educators, administrators and innovators in classroom learning,” said Royden Fagan, The Healing Foundation’s Engagement and Delivery Acting Senior Manager. “It provided us with an opportunity to explore ideas and have conversations with all attendees, many at the edge of education and learning and who, through their students and learners, invest into the future of our communities.”
Over 500 delegates attended the Summit, which provided an exceptional opportunity for The Healing Foundation to promote the upcoming re-launch of the expanded Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students, due for release in October 2023. Having had a yarn with many of the educators visiting The Healing Foundation stall, Royden summarised the general consensus: “…the educators want to do justice to the stories of Survivors and healing, but also want the confidence to do so. They enquired about what would be the best way to honour the stories, not just for Survivors, but also the students and learners in their classes who would be descendants as well. The Healing Foundation’s Kit supports and validates these efforts in the classroom, which was reassuring for us, and exciting for them.”
The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students was developed to introduce students to the firsthand experiences of Stolen Generations survivors. Educators on the day were particularly encouraged that the updated resource kit will align with version 9 of the Australian curriculum, which gives them confidence to teach the lessons in their classroom. While the original kit offered lesson plans for Foundation through to Year 9, the newly revised kit will now extend to include senior grades 10-12. Coupled with the recently launched ‘First Nations Voice to Parliament’ lesson plans for years 10-12, the Summit allowed The Healing Foundation to build and extend awareness of these exciting survivor-led, curriculum aligned, free resources, ready to be taught in classrooms across the country.
One teacher, Debra, commented, “I think a Stolen Generations survivor-led resource will be valuable for teachers because we don’t all have the same experiences. We don’t all have the same story of where we came from and what’s happened in our families as we’ve grown up. And as our classrooms become increasingly diverse, we’re starting to recognise that when we hear from people who have lived it, people who have experienced it and are able to say, ‘this is what we need you to understand about us. This is how you can help us.’ Then we’re not just guessing, we’re not just using what we think ought to work, but we’re joining a partnership with people and collaborating to improve things for our students.”
Another teacher, Kate, stated that, “Having a Stolen Generations resource from survivors themselves is really authentic for our classroom. And the fact that it aligns to the Australian curriculum just makes it valuable for our teachers. They know that it’s going to be impactful for our students and it’s going to be legit…linking to the Australian curriculum, which is our core business, is gold.”
Reflecting on the Summit, Royden said, “I was reminded that educators play a pivotal role in the growth and development of learners and are often our unsung advocates to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into education and with the willingness to honour our journeys and stories.”
Such was the enthusiasm for The Healing Foundation’s resources and information, The Healing Foundation’s stand was awarded the Most Innovative and Engaging Exhibitor Award for 2023. Teacher Kate says, “I think The Healing Foundation has really hit the nail on the head. What is missing is the Indigenous voice in Indigenous education. That’s really what we’ve needed. So, well done.”
Find The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Resource Kit here: www.healingfoundation.org.au/schools