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22 Aug 2022

Spotlight On – Go Global North Carolina visits Briar Road Public School

Image: Authentica attendees at Briar Road Public School (supplied by Briar Road).

On Wednesday 27 July, Briar Road Public School hosted a group of 45 award-winning school teachers from North Carolina, USA, to understand what strong and authentic reconciliation in education looks like, at a school-based level. 

Briar Road Public School were finalists in the 2021 Narragunnawali Awards and are continuously acknowledged for the relationships, respect and opportunities they build with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Part of a 2-week professional development program, offered by Go Global NC, with the group attending local schools, organisations and social enterprises focusing on building inclusivity, entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability. 

The group travelled onto Dharawal Country in Southwest Sydney to see Principal Tammy Anderson, and her teaching team at Briar Road as exemplars in this space.  

Principal Tammy Anderson, a Biripi woman who grew up in the area and attended the school as a student, welcomed the North Carolina group to the school community via a walking tour of the school and an address which highlighted the points of difference in the Briar Road way.  

Tammy, along with her teaching team, emphasised the importance of a child’s identity in culture, and the value of reflecting these within our schools, along with the crucial place of anti-racism in our systems. She talked about the ways that cultural competence for her staff is continually embedded into the school’s culture to ensure cultural safety for all students and staff. 

Image: Tammy Anderson, Principal of Briar Road Public School delivers presentation to international guests around reconciliation at the school (supplied by Authentica).

Tammy asked visitors “what’s in your dilly-bag?” probing everyone to reflect upon the unique strengths that themselves and their learners bring to their contexts to foster excellence. She drew upon some different Stronger Smarter philosophies, which are embedded within the school’s ethos, such as the importance of culture and the concept of facilitating high-expectation relationships within the whole-school community. 

Reconciliation Australia's Narragunnawali team also presented at the event. Attendees were then split up into two groups; one group learnt the details of the Briar Road story and the other learnt about the growing Te Reo Māori program to connect Maori students at Briar Road Public School with their culture. 

We thank Tammy and her teaching community at Briar Road for readiness to host the group of NC teachers. The international group had powerful learning experience and are keen to implement some of the best practices from Australia back in their schools! 

See more about Briar Road’s hosting of Go Global NC here.