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15 December 2017

Developing the Kaiela Dhungala First Peoples Curriculum

Alumnus Tim Warwick incorporates the cultures, histories and knowledge of the region’s Indigenous peoples within the framework of the Victorian Curriculum.

Meet Tim Warwick (Cohort 2013), Assistant Principal at Gowrie Street Primary School in Victoria and Project Coordinator for the Kaiela Dhungala First Peoples Curriculum. 

“The Kaiela Dhungala First Peoples Curriculum incorporates the cultures, histories and knowledge of the region’s Indigenous peoples, within the framework of the Victorian Curriculum in a significant and meaningful way.”

“The project is an initiative of the Koorie Partnership Group of the local principals’ network that seeks to pay respect to and increase awareness of the strong, vital Indigenous community from our area.”

“It is a unique partnership of the Goulburn Valley Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, our local Indigenous community members and organisations, Principals, teachers and the Department of Education.”

“The curriculum covers foundation to Year 10 and will be implemented across the 50 public schools in the Greater Shepparton and Moira local government areas. All staff members at any school that wants to implement the curriculum are required to complete a professional development program. I’ve overseen the design of this professional development, and connected with Teach For All’s Teacher Development Community of Practice, which has been an invaluable source of support for this.”

“In mid-2014 the Principals, community members, Department members and teacher representative (me) completed professional learning and met regularly to determine priorities, one of which was the development of a local curriculum.”

Tim co-presented with a community leader on the Kaiela Dhungala Curriculum at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference of Education in Toronto, Canada this year.

“Way back then, I put my hand up to assist with the organisation of the project and to oversee the drafting of the curriculum – ultimately though I have ended up with the opportunity to really guide and support this exciting work.”

“It’s very specific to the location, so if another region wanted to implement an Indigenous curriculum, they could use the blueprint, but critically they would also need to consult with local Indigenous communities for a lengthy period of time.”

“We consulted with about 15 different organisations and continue to hold regular community forums (two a year for the past three years) to guide this work.”

“The goal is that the curriculum is implemented in 30 to 50 schools by the end of the year! But, to eventually see different curriculums like ours developed for different regions would be amazing.”

This story was recently featured in our inaugural edition of STORIES.