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Maureen Wenzel

Maureen Wenzel
Aboriginal Studies teacher
What was your personal motivation behind participating in this project?

I'm a descendant of the Bundjalung Aboriginal nation and my personal motivation for being involved in this project is to assist the team to create a culturally holistic program where Aboriginal students in particular could be engaged and feel a sense of ownership through the personalisation of the program, thus beginning to address the issues of attendance, truancy and retention.

How did you go about making links with your local Aboriginal community?

In some schools we have Aboriginal teachers, Aboriginal education assistants or Aboriginal education workers. The first point of contact would be those people. They'll be able to initiate the initial contact and there are a number of protocols that have to be observed when working with the Aboriginal community.

Where to from here? What will you do in future to plan for and implement Aboriginal perspectives content into your Years 7-10 science teaching-learning program?

Aboriginal community involvement and consultation is critical to any project with an Aboriginal perspective. Protocols need to be strictly observed. There should be acknowledgement of those involved in the project, ongoing consultation. The community should never be asked to endorse a project unless theyve been involved in the whole process. Teachers must be in-serviced on how to implement the program effectively and this will allow them to broaden their skills and enable them to program Aboriginal perspectives into other areas of the curriculum.

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