Education, Training, & Employment
Aboriginal and Intercultural Studies National Curriculum
FISH runs a range of educational programs in schools throughout WA, with over 4000 students participating in 2018-19. We have developed an Aboriginal and Intercultural Studies National Curriculum which recognises the identities and cultures of Aboriginal people and encourages all students to engage in reconciliation, respect and recognition of Indigenous culture. Course participants gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal histories and cultures, knowledge of traditions and holistic world views. The course is a multidimensional educational program in line with Australian Curriculum and Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) standards. The course follows the organising ideas of Country and Place, Culture and People. Educational initiatives will seek to recognise the inherent strength and relevance of Aboriginal culture and its ability to be represented within mainstream education.
“It was amazing seeing the difference after FISH came to the school; the attitudes of both teachers and students… and the introduction of indigenous culture into the way of teaching.”
Scholarships – Mooditj Kaatajan
FISH has established an Aboriginal Scholarship Initiative (called Mooditj Kaatajan – “Deadly Learning”) in partnership with Mandurah Baptist College. The aim of the initiative is to close the gap in educational outcomes for Aboriginal young people enabling them to complete schooling to Year 12 and progress onto further training, university or employment. As part of this program, where possible, FISH also provides supported accommodation for students to enable them to succeed as part of the scholarship.
Professional Development and Cultural Competency
FISH runs Professional Development and Cultural Competency training for educational staff, which we also tailor to other organisations, providing ‘head, heart and spirit’ knowledge of Australia’s past in order to bring change to the future. In 2018-19, FISH trained over 400 educational and support staff through this program.
School Passport Program
FISH is currently working with the Community Development Foundation to further develop its School Passport Program. The existing program increases school attendance and encourages parent participation through incentives and rewards. FISH is working to make this program available within the prison system as a way for incarcerated people to support their children’s education while serving their sentences.
Every component of the Bawoorrooga Self-Build Housing project is an education and training opportunity. Literacy and numeracy is interwoven with practical and vocational skills tasks. Participants develops skills including building, safety, maintenance, horticulture, and community governance/administration, and critical life-skills of teamwork and daily routine.
FISH and Fitzroy Valley District High School have established a credit-recognition arrangement whereby students’ participation in the Bawoorrooga project is credited towards their formal education. Speaking of a participating student, the Senior School Advisor remarked:
“he has become more mature, sensible and now he likes learning… That he is learning in a real sense about measurement, angles, and about tools, he’s learning to work with people, he’s learning to work in a responsible and safe way, and above all, he’s contributing to the benefit of his community.”