Creating culturally safe and inclusive learning environments is everyone’s business, but of course, teachers require a strong foundation of skills, knowledge, and a lot of support in order to deliver Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives within their classroom curriculum. 

This is why VAEAI, in partnership with the Department of Education and Training, has prioritised providing professional learning through the Community Understanding and Safety Training initiative (otherwise known as CUST), to all school-based staff, from teachers, to administration and grounds staff in every government school throughout the state.

CUST is designed to be an introduction to ongoing learning and engagement with Aboriginal perspectives throughout the curriculum through meaningful collaboration between local Aboriginal communities and schools.

CUST In Community Videos were created and designed to inform you, the Koorie community, about the information and teachings that are being shared with the educators of your Koorie learners in schools. With the ultimate aim of families feeling empowered to make well-informed decisions about their child’s education and build genuine relationships with your child’s school.

If a Koorie family’s school is being encouraged through CUST to teach Aboriginal perspectives, create culturally safe learning environments and build genuine relationships in community, then in turn, our community should know about what that will look like and mean for them.

Koorie families should be aware of what is expected of schools through this training, so that we are all on the same page in how to work together to create safe, strength-based learning environments that respect and reflect this country’s First Nations peoples.

This information has been broken up into 4 videos, delivered by VAEAI’s CUST In Community Facilitator, Naomi Kennedy-Bamblett, a Yorta Yorta, Wiradjuri and Trawlwoolway woman, and edited by VAEAI’s Communications Coordinator Annie Sevil, a Gomeroi woman.

Module 1

This first video in the series gives an introduction to VAEAI and the work that we do, as well as Marrung, the 10 year Aboriginal Education Plan developed in partnership with the Victorian government, and how CUST training fulfils Marrung key outcomes.

Module 2 part 1

In this video, Naomi discusses the content of slides delivered in a Community Understanding Safety Training session. This includes a welcome or acknowledgement of country, as well as the significance of welcoming or acknowledging and protocols around engaging with community to perform them. After this a CUST session provides an overview of VAEAI, Marrung and the role of Koorie Engagement Support Officers. Following this overview the LAECG will talk about their local community, and local Aboriginal Groups.

Module 2 part 2

This video covers the second half of CUST slides delivered during Training. Topics include Inclusion and Reflective Practice, Equality and equity, Aboriginal perspectives in curriculum, and Table talk activity.

Module 3

Naomi discusses the next steps for school staff after participating in a CUST session, as well as the steps community might choose to take after watching the information session.

Resources Mentioned

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact CUST Facilitator Naomi Kennedy-Bamblett via email at [email protected]

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