Walking together to close the gap

A new partnership is expected to help Indigenous education at IGS grow from strength to strength.

Deputy Principal Students and Campus Life Mary Duma recently welcomed Bundjalung Elder and Director of the University of Sydney’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Honorary Associate Professor Boe Rambaldini to IGS.

Macquarie University Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences Senior Lecturer Dr Kylie Gwynne and IGS Head of Indigenous Education and Stage 6 Aboriginal Studies Teacher Jade Carr were also welcomed, to discuss enhancing IGS actions to help close the gap.

“You have inspired us to continue to work hard to provide our Indigenous students with the best education and care that we can provide,” Ms Duma said.

“Our partnership with the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health will help us grow as a Lighthouse School for Indigenous Education.”

Ms Duma foreshadowed the following IGS actions as a result of the meeting:

  • form an Indigenous advisory group where we will engage the parents of our students
  • organise for a meeting with our students to hear their voice and take appropriate action
  • put together an annual education plan for staff/students/parents re: indigenous stories, culture, respect, understanding, and – continue to work on IGS being a place that is culturally safe
  • ask our IGS alumna and academic mentor Indigenous education Miah Walker (2020), to be an active presence in the Aboriginal Studies classroom and at Koori Club, and to make connections for us with Redfern, help with our curriculum mapping process, and support our Indigenous Scholars academically
  • a safe space is being created for our Indigenous students; a place where they can meet, talk and exchange ideas. We will fill the room with good messages, nutritional snacks, and respectful cultural displays created by students for students. We will open our ears to listen and understand.

With the help of the POCHE Centre, IGS hopes to form a Memorandum of Understanding “that will help us all work towards closing the gap”, Mary said.

“POCHE and IGS are working together for the good of our young, our future and a culturally respectful Australia,” Mary said.

“We all belong to this land. Our joint efforts will make a difference.”

Mary thanked Boe and Kylie for sharing their inspiration, time, knowledge and wisdom with our School.

Jade presented Boe with a portrait of him and his totems created in charcoal by IGS alumna Eve Mitchell-James (2020) as part of her Aboriginal Studies major project.

Meanwhile, we warmly congratulate Lucy Howard-Shibuya and Jade Carr on receiving their Masters of Education (Leadership in Aboriginal Education) in the first face to face graduation ceremony held in the Great Hall of The University of Sydney since the advent of COVID-19.

“It was a really special day for us as educators, and we are so inspired to be able to put back what we have learnt into the IGS school community,” Lucy said.

“The Dean gave us a special shout-out as we are the inaugural cohort, the first people to graduate with this special degree.

“We also very grateful to Principal Shauna Colnan and IGS for the support shown to us over the two years we completed this Masters.”

Read more about Indigenous education at IGS.