The Australian Curriculum sets what all students should learn at school in Australia.
Individual state and territory curriculum bodies implement their curriculum based on the Australian Curriculum, including its cross-curriculum priorities.
There are three cross-curriculum priorities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
This priority aims to help all young Australians:
gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, experiences, values and perspectives and to recognise the ongoing strength, resilience and diversity of First Nations Australian communities.
engage positively in Australia’s journey towards reconciliation.
The Alice Springs (Mpartnwe) Education Declaration conveys that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures cross-curriculum priority is an important part of delivering a world-class curriculum.
It supports students to become ‘responsible local and global members of the community in an interconnected world and to engage with complex ethical issues and concepts such as sustainability’.
For many teachers, who may not have grown up learning about First Nations content and perspectives in their own schooling/educational experience, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority may present a challenging new professional expectation and opportunity. It’s important to:
support staff to engage in their own ongoing learning (and unlearning/relearning) relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and to develop culturally responsive pedagogies and practices
support staff in all learning areas and across all year groups to understand and embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures in their teaching practice
provide strategies with staff strategies, guidance and resources to include the cross-curriculum priority when developing units, lesson plans and resources.