Connection before curriculum
Connecting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities begins when connecting and reflecting with yourself.
It starts with asking yourself why you want to engage and how you hope to strengthen your pedagogical practice and deepen relationships.
It’s also about being aware of your biases, how they inform your beliefs and assumptions – and challenging them. We don't grow in comfort, but when we push and challenge ourselves, we enrich our practice and the experiences of our learners.
Be You strongly recommends engaging with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s (AITSL) intercultural framework and tools below before using the Be You culturally responsive resources. Self-reflection is important before learning about the First Nations perspectives in these resources.
The Be You resources on this page have been designed for educators who wish to invite genuine connection and deepen engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people, families and communities.
When understanding your intent and beginning to engage purposefully, your cultural responsiveness will benefit your whole learning community and beyond.
You may feel uncomfortable or challenged when engaging with the AITSL tools.
That’s OK. This is your space to reflect on your assumptions or biases and learn, either on your own or with the support of your colleagues.
If you require further support, connect with your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or one of these mental health services and support helplines.
AITSL Intercultural Development Self-Reflection Tool
This online tool poses questions to help you reflect deeply on assumptions, attitudes and biases about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, histories, languages and cultures. It will generate a report, giving you a starting point for your further development and learning.
AITSL recommends you use this tool before exploring the Intercultural Capability Framework (below), so you have a clear sense of where your current attitudes, experiences and behaviours place you along the Intercultural Development Continuum.
AITSL Intercultural Capability Framework
This framework includes a set of guiding values and principles and concrete, achievable steps you can take to embody behaviours and attitudes that are culturally responsive within your learning community.
AITSL Intercultural Development Continuum
This continuum aims to assist educators and school leaders to critically reflect on and develop their ability to be more responsive to the knowledge, skills, and cultural identities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.
Be You resources to support culturally respectful engagement
Developed with First Nations educators, this guide provides practical information, reflections, case studies and suggested actions to support educators in creating welcoming, culturally responsive learning environments.
The guide explores topics such as connecting with communities, culturally responsive curriculum, discussing culturally sensitive topics in your early learning service or school and writing inclusive policies and procedures.
Creating a Stakeholder List
An introduction to why and how to create a list of key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members and organisations in your area. Creating this list will enable you to meaningfully engage with community members and embed culturally responsive practices in your learning community.
Explore ways that you can start to develop an understanding and respect towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being.
A list of organisations providing advocacy, research and learning resources to build relationships that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, histories and cultures.
A collection of information and suggested actions to help educators create inclusive and respectful learning environments that embrace the histories and cultures of their communities. This place-based resource was co-designed with Aboriginal Elders, educators, health services and community members across the Kimberley and Pilbara regions.
The artwork on this page and featured throughout these resources is by Wongutha artist Kevin Wilson.