VAEAI have been tasked in overseeing the introduction of Cultural Understanding and Safety Trainings to educate and prepare schools when approaching Koorie culture.
Over 300 CUST sessions were conducted in 2018 with a goal to bring schools up to speed with the appropriate methods and understanding of including, teaching and embracing Indigenous culture.
The CUST trainings, as outlined in the Marrung 10-Year Plan (2016-2026), are a method to assist educators and schools with helpful information to better understanding.
“One of the first steps in making sure schools are culturally safe and inclusive for Koorie learners and families in the future has been the implementation of the CUST training in schools,
It’s the first-time sessions like this have been offered to schools and education pathways in Victoria and we are seeing a real benefit.” Said Schools Coordinator, Leann Graham.
The sessions which are hosted and presented by members of the community associated with the Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Groups, as well as the appropriate Koorie Engagement Support Officers, help give a clearer understanding on the cultural issues and boundaries that affect Koorie learners attending mainstream services.
Schools and educators are receiving a direct representation of what Aboriginal culture and history represents with the aim of breaking down the stigma and pre-conceived notions that are often generated in the absence of the truth.
“We hope it will encourage everyone to challenge their understanding of Aboriginal culture and entertain a conversation which presents both sides of the story.” Added Graham
The CUST trainings continue to operate as a mechanism for making schools and their staff on how to allow space for Koorie culture and inclusiveness.