August 2006
(Volume 9, Number 4)
ISSN  1449-2091

Michael Michie

Tiwi designs by Jennifer Coombs
Munupi Arts & Crafts Association,
Pirlangimpi, Melville Island, NT






'Indigenous Education and Training' takes shape

The Key Educational Forum of the annual Garma Festival this year will focus on “Indigenous Education and Training” and is taking great shape, with a pre-eminent group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous community leaders, government, philanthropic, academic and corporate speakers having accepted invitations to participate. 

The Forum (5-7 August), co-ordinated by Charles Darwin University (CDU), will be a central feature of the annual Garma Festival of Traditional Culture, to be held near Nhulunbuy, in the Northern Territory (4-8 August 2006). With its unique five-day line-up of entertainment, education and real cultural interaction, the Garma Festival is a spectacular celebration of cultural traditions and practices, and an award-winning model for insightful cultural tourism. 

“CDU is proud and honoured to be a full partner in producing the Garma Key Forum. The University is uniquely positioned to offer expertise and a commitment to support Indigenous knowledge systems, while providing an environment where Indigenous learning opportunities will be continually encouraged and enhanced,” said CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Helen Garnett. 

“As we debate more and more the challenges facing Indigenous Australians, the need for adequate opportunities and resourcing of Indigenous Education and Training have to be recognised and faced,” said Mandawuy Yunupingu, Deputy Chairman of the Yothu Yindi Foundation, the not-for-profit Indigenous organisation which presents Garma. 

“Access to proper education and training lies at the heart of the set of conditions needed to sustainably and fairly correct the current imbalance in well-being and life opportunities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” he said.” Much will be learnt from this Forum, and can be put into practice”. 

Confirmed speakers for the 2006 Forum include: 

  • Tom Calma, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner 

  • Dr Daniel Etya’ale, Vision 2020 Coordinator, Prevention of Blindness and Deafness Office, World Health Organization 

  • Mitchell H Hooke, Chief Executive, Minerals Council of Australia 

  • Jackie Huggins, Co-Chair, Reconciliation Australia 

  • Professor Marcia Langton, Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies, University of Melbourne 

  • Raymattja Marika, Educator, Board member of Reconciliation Australia 

  • Brian Annan, School Improvement Manager, Ministry of Education, New Zealand 

  • Jeff McMullen, Honorary CEO, Ian Thorpe's Fountain for Youth Trust 

  • Alan Morris, Chairman, Commonwealth Grants Commission 

  • Joe Morrison, Executive Officer, North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance 

  • Professor Fiona Stanley, former Australian of the Year, Director, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research 

  • Te Kepa Stirling, Mätauranga Mäori, Ministry of Education, New Zealand 

The program and biographies of main speakers are now on line at 

The Key Forum - with workshops, presentations, panel discussions and learning exchanges - will focus on past and present education policy and practice to examine ways to build non-Indigenous and Indigenous capacities to learn together, celebrating what works and how success can be adapted to other contexts. 

It will also pay special attention to work-readiness and on-the-job training programs. Indigenous unemployment rates appear to be intractable, but advances are being made in several industries. The Indigenous art industry and mining are two areas where livelihood and career opportunities are increasing. 

This year’s Forum on “Indigenous Education and Training” will discuss such topics as: 

  • Given the size of the challenge are we doing enough? – the dollars, problems, paradoxes and solutions in Indigenous Education and Training
  • Are current policies and programs working? Are they accessible?
  • Are they resourced and linked properly? Are governments working together?
  • Have we learnt from mistakes and successes?
  • Learning and earning - pathways to opportunities for meaningful Indigenous livelihoods in remote communities and meeting skill shortage
  • Learning for life – why traditional education and training are important
Past Key Forum themes have included Law, Health, Art, Environment, Livelihoods and Leadership, and, in 2005, Indigenous Cultural Livelihoods. 

The Yothu Yindi Foundation is a not-for-profit Aboriginal charitable organisation with full tax exemption and gift deductibility status. All revenues, including Garma attendance fees received by the Foundation go to the operation of its projects and programs, including Garma, to achieve real, positive cultural, educational and economic outcomes. 

Go to 'How to attend Garma', to register your Expression of Interest and for more information on the Yothu Yindi Foundation and Garma. 

For more information on the Key Forum, please contact Jackie Wurm, CDU on 0406 648 914 or Simon Balderstone on 0419 732 004 or 08 8941 2900. 

View information about Garma Festival 2006 partners, sponsors and supporter (.pdf)

(Charles Darwin University media release, 15 June 2006,

Indigenous perspectives in teacher education

The Northern Territory Teacher Education Reaccreditation Summit staged in March 2006 was a forum for wide stakeholder consultation regarding the direction of the future of the Charles Darwin University (CDU) Teacher Education degree. A collaborative endeavour between the Department of Employment, Education and Training NT (DEET) and CDU, the Summit resulted in eight Working Parties. Charged as think tanks to further the initial summit findings, the charter of the Working Parties is to fine tune and filter the graduate attributes of the new degree: the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (BTL). 

The Indigenous Perspective Working Party is convened by the Chair, Linda Ford, an Indigenous lecturer in the School of Education at CDU, and is charged with ensuring that a considered approach to both explicit and embedded Indigenous Knowledge and Culture is identified and developed through the BTL. 

The Indigenous Perspectives Working Party for the reaccreditation of the Bachelor of Education called a meeting of all interested Indigenous people on 5, 6 and 7 June. 

The focal aim of the Indigenous Perspectives Working Party (IPWP) is to discuss how to embed Indigenous knowledge in the core curriculum. The IPWP also discussed the scope of Indigenous Perspectives in the development of the new Bachelor of Education course in partnership with DEET and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE). This was the first time that such a knowledgeable group of Indigenous people have been invited to contribute to the reaccreditation of a higher education program in the School of Education. 

The Indigenous Perspectives must be embedded in Graduate Attributes, Content and Outcomes in the unit’s core curriculum of the BTL. The Indigenous Perspectives must be explicit in identifying ‘how to’, ‘who’ and ‘what’ resources are required to ensure that there is access for Indigenous Community input. 

The new BTL course is three years. Each of the domain areas are: 

  1. Indigenous perspectives
  2. Pedagogy
  3. Networks and Partnerships
  4. Futures
  5. Essential Professional Knowledge
  6. Organisation, rules, regulations, obligations
  7. Teaching Schools
  8. Research
The Indigenous consultation process includes a cross-section of Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders. 

The Indigenous Perspectives Working Party Committee involved Indigenous stakeholders including Tanyah Nasir (Group Training NT), Bill Turner (Department of Education), David Guy, Terry Dunbar (CDU), Lorna Murakami-Gold (Larrakia Nation Inc.), Noressa Bulsey (BIITE), Robyn Ober (BIITE), Betty Ah Kit (IASL, CDU), Jason Davidson (PhD student, CDU) and Joe Daby (NT Health). 

Key stakeholders involved in the three day meeting were Marian Patterson (community rep), Kathy Deveraux (BIITE), Julie Turner (teacher education student), Peter Pearce (student, CDU), Curtis Roman (PhD student and lecturer, CDU), Geoff Freeman (lecturer, CDU) and many more from across the Northern Territory. 

For further information contact Linda Ford on 8946 6125 or email Written by Marian Patterson, Linda Ford and Geoff Freeman. 

(Charles Darwin University media release, 19 June 2006,

Educator named Territorian of the Year (Australia)

Northern Territory Chief Minister Clare Martin has named an Indigenous educator from north-east Arnhem Land as Territorian of the Year. Raymattja Marika teaches at Yirrakala and works as an interpreter. 

01/07/2006. ABC News Online

From the Australian right-wing think tanks

The following information gives details of two papers on Aboriginal education released by right-wing think tanks recently. These papers are involved at the policy level where politicians and bureaucrats are more susceptible. You can visit the respective websites or download the papers by clicking on the appropriate links.

Menzies Research Centre

[29 May 06] Aboriginal Education: Remote Schools and the Real Economy

The Menzies Research Centre has launched a new paper by the Hon Dr Gary Johns on Aboriginal education in remote communities. Click here to read a copy of the paper and here to read a copy of the media release.

Centre for Independent Studies

21 June 2006
Issue Analysis 72

School Autonomy: A Key Reform for Improving Indigenous Education
Julie Novak
In this paper Julie Novak argues that the government school model is failing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in remote communities.  Government schools have entrenched poor teaching practices and imposed unsuccessful post-modern curricula on Indigenous students. Developing a system of autonomous schools, freed from the restrictive rules and regulations that apply to the government school system, would allow highly-skilled and committed principals and teachers to embark on genuine change. School autonomy has the potential to transform failed government schools in remote Indigenous communities, lifting long-term Indigenous educational outcomes

Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council's (IHEAC) report (Australia)

The Federal Education Minister has this week (20 July 2006) launched the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council's (IHEAC) report `Improving Indigenous Outcomes and Enhancing Indigenous Culture and Knowledge in Australian Higher Education'.   A major report recommendation was that:  `A major national project be undertaken to investigate and report on Indigenous education initiatives and strategies in higher education that are successful in improving access and rates of retention and completion'.  Please follow the link below to download the report from the DEST website:


On biocultural diversity: Linking language, knowledge and the environment. 

Edited by Luisa Maffi (2004). Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press. 

Book review by Birut Zemits, Charles Darwin University

Luisa Maffi has edited a book of thirty-four articles which are drawn from a number of disciplines to support the objectives of the international non-government organisation Terralingua. Conceptually, themes are well linked in the articles which range from highly readable to academically challenging. In an age where languages, cultures and natural environments are under threat from many directions around the world, this book brings together writers who seek to "preserve biodiversity and maintain and develop the human wealth represented by indigenous and minority languages and cultures and the knowledge they embody (p39)". 

Themes covered are grouped under the headings:-

  1. Language, knowledge and the environment: Interdisciplinary framework

  2. Biocultural diversity, persistence and loss - Case Studies

  3. Perpetuating the world's biocultural diversity: agenda for action

  4. Vision for the future and a plea

Contributions come from anthropologists, linguists, ethnobiologists, cognitive psychologists, biologists, ecologists, conservationists and indigenous experts. While many of the articles deal with the American continent, case studies are also drawn from Africa and Australasia. With a range of discourse from different fields, some articles may require familiarisation with specialised language but most are accessible to an interested audience.

The research reports add credibility and objectivity to theories exploring human relationships to various lands based on ethnicity and language and can inform research in Indigenous knowledge systems and the function of language. A final plea by Frank Manriquez recognises the value of such research but urges calls for action ‘from all the ‘ologists’ we can find’ who have a common goal to reverse diversity and cultural loss.

One pencil to share (Stories of teacher transformation in science and mathematics from the Eastern Cape, Republic of South Africa)

By Michael Chartes and Kathryn Paige. (2005). Flaxton, Qld: Post Pressed. AU$30 (+ p&p)

"Within these pages there are eight stories of transformation of individual teachers. The inspirational stories are set in one of the economically poorest parts of the country. They not only describe creative new approaches to teaching science and mathematics in the teachers' classroom but they also signal hope and possibility for the future of schools, learners and their communities." (Back page)

Introductory Indigenous Studies in Education: The importance of knowing

By Jean Phillips and Jo Lampert. (2005). Sydney: Pearson Education Australia. AU$54.95.

"This book intends to add to conversations about the place of Indigenous peoples in Australian society as a means of exploring Australian society itself. The issues being considered about the representations of Indigenous peoples, our knowledge and the multi-dimensionality of our intersected history are relevant to a much broader societal context." (Back cover)

IJEDICT: Volume 2, Issue 2 - now available online

The International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), Volume 2, Issue 2 - "Communication and education using ICT" is now available online at: IJEDICT is an e-journal that provides free and open access to all of its content. The contents of the current issue are:

  • "Editorial: Achievements and challenges for ICT in education and development" -  Stewart Marshall and Wal Taylor

  • "The utilization and integration of ICT tools in promoting English language Teaching and Learning: Reflections from English Option Teachers in Kuala Langat District, Malaysia" - Robinson Joseph Samuel and Zaitun Abu Bakar

  • "The CTC@NSW Program: Achievements and ongoing challenges" - Lynne H De Weaver, Allan Ellis and Lynne H De Weaver

  • "Releasing the pedagogical power of information and communication technology for learners: A case study" - Cecily Mary Knight, Bruce Allen Knight and Daniel Teghe

  • "Jordanian EFL students' perceptions of their computer literacy" - Ruba Fahmi Bataineh and Abdallah Ahmad Baniabdelrahman

  • "Trends and Challenges of eLearning in National and International Agricultural Development" - Zane L Berge and John Leary

  • "Community radio and emerging information networks" - Ruchika R.N. Negi

  • "Exploring Turkish science education faculties' understanding of educational technology and use" - Hakan Turkmen

  • "Long distance design education applied to rural women" - Margaret Catherine Perivoliotis-Chryssovergis

  • "An information technology enabled Poultry Expert System: Perceptions of veterinarians and veterinary students" - D Thammi Raju and B Sudhakar Rao

Māori Astronomy

I was recently in Aotearoa New Zealand and my visit coincided with Matariki, the Māori New Year. Matariki is the Māori name for the Pleiades and is the date of the first new moon after this group of stars first becomes visible in the morning.

Here are a few websites which look at Māori astronomy and Matariki in particular.

(I have also updated the Indigenous Astronomy page on the ISN Links to include this information. MM)

Dust Echoes

This is an ABC website from Australia. It contains five animated Dreamtime stories dating from 'the time of dust'. Games, goodies and extras too, including lesson plans. Visit

Sharing our pathways

Sharing our pathways is the newsletter of the Alaskan Native Knowledge Network, and the latest edition is available at their website,

World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium

The WINHEC website is located at There is also a WINHEC Journal and the 2005 issue was devoted to Perspectives on Indigenous Knowledge. To access the journal, visit

International Indigenous Journal

The International Indigenous Journal of Enterpreneurship, Advancement, Strategy and Education was first published last year. The first issue coincided with the WIPCE Conference held in Aotearoa New Zealand last year and looks at a range of indigenous issues. You can access it at



27-29 September, 2006.
University of New England in Armidale, NSW, AUSTRALIA

Please visit our conference website -  You can view the list of accepted abstracts and also register online [secured site]. 


3-6 October 2006, Bunbury WA

Registrations are now open for AAEE National Conference.  The registration brochure and form is now available to be downloaded from the conference website at: by clicking on the menu item "Registration Information"; or downloaded directly from

If you have any problems downloading the information from the website, please contact Sandy Eager at, and she can send you the brochure as an e-mail attachment (5MB).

Aboriginal Studies: Making the Connections

Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd November, 2006
Bankstown Sports Club, 8 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown, NSW

The Aboriginal Studies Association in association with SELF Research Centre, College of Arts, University of Western Sydney; NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc., and NSW Aboriginal Education Council presents our 12th Conference.

Call for Papers and Registrations

Over the years ASA conferences have become justly renowned for interactive workshops and practical strategies; sharing resources and best practice; the latest research; and, above all, networking, contacts, sharing and learning. A must for educators and researchers, beginning and experienced, who are committed to making a difference.

Focus Areas

* Connecting schools and communities;
* Engaging Indigenous learners;
* Practical teaching resources;
* Results of recent research; and
* Ideas that work in teaching and learning at all levels of education and training.

Inspiring Keynotes Linda Burney, Rhonda Craven, Paul Hughes, Dare to Lead, Patrick Dodson and more
Dinner speaker: Warren Mundine; MC: Dave Ella.

Elders sharing circles, practical workshops, the best resources, networking - Making the Connections will be an Aboriginal Studies teaching and learning experience not to be missed.
General Enquiries:
Lisa Car 0421 855 683,
Presenters' Enquiries:
Trevor Cook 0404 366 883,
Nigel Parbury 0425 226 493,

Abstracts Due 1st September, Early Bird Registration by 11th September, Papers Due 1st October

Downloadable Information Pack (Registration, Call for Papers, Program Updates) or

University of Madras, Chennai, India, 4-7 January, 2007

This conference aims to develop an holistic view of sustainability, in which environmental, cultural and economic issues are inseparably interlinked. It will work in a multidisciplinary way, across diverse fields and taking varied perspectives in order to address the fundamentals of sustainability.

As well as impressive line up of international main speakers, the conference will also include numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by practitioners, teachers and researchers. We would particularly like to invite you to respond to the conference call for papers. Papers submitted for the conference proceedings will be peer-refereed and published in print and electronic formats in the International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability. If you are unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication in this fully refereed academic journal, as well as access to the electronic version of the conference proceedings.

The deadline for the next round in the call for papers (a title and short abstract) is 31 July 2006. Proposals are reviewed within four weeks of submission. Full details of the conference, including an online call for papers form, are to be found at the conference website -

We look forward to receiving your proposal and hope you will be able to join us in Chennai in January 2007.

World Environmental Education Congress 2007
International Conference Centre
Durban, South Africa
2 - 6 July 2007


As part of contributing to global efforts to implement the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, the Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa, together with its partners invites you to attend the 2007 World Environmental Education Congress in an environmentally interesting and culturally rich region characterised by many sustainable development challenges.

The World EE Congress Secretariat (Italy) also invites you to be part of the consolidation and launch of the World Environmental Education Association, which will take place at the 2007 WEEC. Please come and participate in the debate and discussions.

The Congress Theme: Learning in a Changing World

Education for Sustainable Development includes environmental education processes that enable people everywhere to learn in a changing world. One of the most constant features of life today is change. Globalisation and internationalisation are among processes that have created a world context of uncertainty, flux and risk. Schools, community organizations, business and governments around the world are challenged to respond to unprecedented and complex economic, political, social and environmental changes. The direction of human development is in question. Traditional forms of teaching, learning and awareness raising are changing to incorporate new concepts and life-long learning approaches. Organisational and workplace learning is evolving. People everywhere are learning in a changing world. Since the Tbilisi Principles on education and environment were released in 1977, environmental education has created many opportunities for critical and creative thinking, teaching, learning, awareness raising and taking action.

Thirty years later, the 2007 World Environmental Education Congress hopes to extend creative opportunities for dialogue, reflection and evaluation in a growing and dynamically evolving field that is currently engaging with the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the implications of the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development.

In association with:
Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa (EEASA) and Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA)

Registration for WEEC 2007 will commence in July 2006 via online registration on the WEEC 2007 website,

Details regarding the programme and requirements for submission of abstracts will be available in the next announcement to be released in July 2006. The deadline for submission of abstracts will be 30 November 2006. Further information on the Congress will be available on the WEEC 2007

WEEC 2007 Secretariat:
The Conference Company
PO Box 47156, Greyville, 4023, South Africa
Tel: +27 31 303 9852
Fax: +27 31 303 9529


This is mostly a summary of upcoming conferences. More details may have been given above or in previous bulletins. A web-based contact is usually included.

August 2006

4-8 August 2006: Garma Festival, Nhulunbuy, NT (April06)

September 2006

3-8 September 2006: 12th Gender And Science And Technology (GASAT12) International Conference. University of Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom. Email (Dec05)

27-29 September 2006: Multimodal Texts and Multiliteracies: Semiotic Theory and Practical Pedagogy. National Conference of the Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association in collaboration with the Northern Regional Council of the Australian Literacy Educators Association. University of New England in Armidale, NSW, AUSTRALIA

October 2006

4-6 October 2006: Australian Association for Environmental Education conference, Bunbury, WA. Pamphlet available at (April06)

26-29 October 2006: Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Science Revolution in Minority Communities: What Progress Have We Made? Tampa, Florida (Jun06)

November 2006

1-3 November 2006: 2nd Desert Knowledge Symposium, organised by the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre and Desert Knowledge Australia, Alice Springs NT. (April06)

2-3 November 2006:  Aboriginal Studies: Making the Connections, Aboriginal Studies Association in association with SELF Research Centre, College of Arts, University of Western Sydney; NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc., and NSW Aboriginal Education Council. Bankstown Sports Club, 8 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown, NSW. or (August06)

5-9 November 2006: 10th International Congress of Ethnobiology (ICE): "Ethnobiology, Biodiversity and Community Development", Chiang Rai Province of Thailand. (April06)

8-10 November 2006: Policy and Practice in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning in the Elementary Grades. Le Meridien Commodore Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon (Jun06)

22 – 24 November 2006: MOE-NIE-STAS International Science Education Conference (ISEC) 2006, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637616. Details and forms available at (Jun06)

27-29 November 2006: 4th National Indigenous Education Conference - Getting on with the job: Indigenous Engagement in Education, Newcastle NSW  Australia (April06)

28-30 November 2006: APERA 2006, the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference 2006, Hong Kong. (Oct05/June06)

December 2006

1-3 December 2006: ANZCIES 2006: Global Governance, Educational Change, and Cultural Ecology, Australia National University, Canberra. (April06)

January 2007

4-7 January: The Third International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, University of Madras, Chennai, India, (August06)

April 2007

14-17 April: National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) annual meeting, New Orleans, (

July 2007

2 - 6 July: World Environmental Education Congress 2007, International Conference Centre, Durban, South Africa (August06)

8-12 July: World Conference on Science and Technology Education (ICASE/CONASTA56), Perth WA. (August05)

11-14 July: 38th Annual Conference, Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), Fremantle WA (


March 2008

29 March - 3 April: National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) annual meeting, Baltimore, (

July 2008

CONASTA57, Darwin NT

ASERA, Brisbane Qld

Date not set

World Indigenous People's Conference on Education (WIPCE 2008), Victoria, Australia

Last updated: 1 August 2006