Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Perspectives
We began our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2015. This marked a significant shift in our concerted efforts to ensure the meaningful integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives consistently throughout the curriculum at every year level. Since then we have built a specific curriculum planner around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives to ensure that, over their seven years of schooling at Monty South, our students receive age-appropriate, incremental & meaningful learnings across this area.
Our vision for reconciliation involves the gathering and exploration of knowledge; the forming of connections; the building of empathy & lots of opportunities for celebration.
We believe in the value of knowing our local history and stories first, whilst also being able to relate to a wider range of First Nation’s stories, histories & cultures from across Australia. We want our students to gain an appreciation of the rich cultural diversity across Australia and to understand some of the key differences between various regions. We are very considered in the resources we use and make every effort to provide opportunities for our students to learn directly from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators whenever possible.
Connections are the key to all student learning and understandings. We want students to constantly reflect on their own sense of self and link back to their own lives and experiences. From making connections between cultures, lifestyles & belief systems, to establishing links between past events and contemporary implications, these connections provide the basis for students to make sense of the knowledge gathered. Personal connections, with each other as well as with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators who come to our school to teach us, are also integral to our shared journey of reconciliation.
Reconciliation is an emotional journey; it is about a process of healing. Through supporting students to ‘step into another’s shoes’ & see things from different perspectives we can help to foster empathy. This is not only a key skill for the development of all caring, respectful individuals, but is also key to creating meaning connections with our Aboriginal community to reconcile with the painful truths of our interwoven histories.
By acknowledging and understanding our shared history, we provide a platform for the celebration of all opportunities to build on a shared future. We believe it is important to highlight the incredible skill, intelligence, ingenuity, creativity and resilience of Australia’s First Nations peoples. As students are awed and inspired by what they learn they will naturally develop respect and appreciation. In this way we believe that the children of Montmorency South Primary school have the opportunity to actively live a message of mutual respect and reconciliation. We should all feel pride that our home is also home to the longest surviving civilizations in the world!