Australia is a country that has a vast diversity and the history of the Country has certain events that have caused cultural diversity in Australia. The country’s geographical location has attracted numerous foreigners that have eventually contributed to the diverse cultural history of the country. Originally, the Aborigines used to live in Australia before the British government imperialized the country. According to the history, the lands of the aborigines were taken away and they have been forced to live in remote and deprived conditions making them prone to innumerable diseases. The diseases have caused the death of countless aborigines. The low mortality rate of the aborigines is a concern for the Government of Australia (Walter, 2016).
Thesis: Australian history and the establishment of aboriginal people and their struggle till today which have guided them in this present day where people are actually aware of their existence and they are found have an enormous impact in education system among students as well as the teachers.
A reflection of historical viewpoints from the past based around the first encounters with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reveal and negative perception as 'feared/despised, savages, wild animals, vermin, hideous to humanity, loathsome, and a nuisance' (Tatz, 1999.p.15). By describing Indigenous people in such a discriminatory ways clearly provide motives to diminish and undermine the status and existence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The representation of the aboriginal people in the media is extremely distorted and misrepresented, the media has always stereotyped the indigenous and they have always been racial representation of the aborigines. The present misrepresentation of the aborigines in the country has been because of the insensitivity of the media and their limited awareness about the history and culture of the aborigines in Australia. The racial violence of Australia was ignited by the misrepresentation of the indigenous people of Australia (Smith, 2013).
There are several theoretical points which provide an explanation of these constructions.
The theoretical point of Aboriginalism explains the construction of ideas prevalent within (Authors Yahoo) article analysed in previously. Aboriginalism is the theory that the aboriginal cultures are ancient or foreign and have very little to do with today’s advanced world. The aboriginal people and the Torres islanders of Australia has been not been treated very well in the past and they have been represented as nomads by the non-aboriginal people of the Australia (Parker & Milroy, 2014). Thus, the children will come to know about the history of Australia that would not be manipulative rather it would be the actual history of Australia and they will not be in ignorance anymore and the incidents of racist comments and bullying of indigenous children in schools. The aboriginal people have been facing systematic racing for a very long time, vilification, racial discrimination and social exclusion are the ways in which they are being discriminated. The aboriginals and torres starit islander face institutionalized racism (Herring et al., 2013). As per the report various people at workforce who do not Anglo-Saxon origin or had non- English background had to face trouble in order to secure their jobs or to get promoted (Bourke et al., 2017). Furthermore, another theoretical theme within the representation of Indigenous Australians is systemic racism. According to the people of west Australia, they have been treating the Aboriginal people in a very negative way. There were six issues that were found in the study, the issues were separate societies, negatively representing the aborigines, misrepresentation of past and the culture of the indigenous people, the aborigine youth are negatively represented and the last issue is the failure of the Government to resolve the issues of the mistreatment of aborigines (Berg et al., 2015). There is too much of labelling and stereotyping, the indigenous youth are excluded from the mainstream society, they culture have not been understood properly. (Williams, 2016).
These cultural constructions are still evident in mainstream society today and as educators we need to challenge these negative perceptions that we sometimes see Indigenous students colluding with and reinforcing a positive portrayal that acknowledges and embraces Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity.
In our institutions we must provide opportunities that acknowledge and embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity in a positive light. If students are nurtured in a supportive environment that reflects more positively on their identity then we will see indigenous students asserting themselves with the power drawn from them. However, to solve these issues can be making the classroom safe for all the students, the students must be appreciated with the challenges and stress related to their continuous adjustments they are facing, diversity should be treated empathetically in a positive way, the students must have a clear perception of what are expected from them in a classroom and most solution would be to form a checklist where the teachers practices can be reviewed (Beresford, Partington & Gower, 2012).
The ways that must get incorporated in aboriginal way of learning are as follows:-
- People are more connected through the shared stories. So aboriginal way of learning can be in corporate by sharing stories of different indigenous people.
- People are often found to visualise their pathways of the knowledge they have which indicates the learning capability of maps like their visualising processes and clear mapping.
- People also observe, think, behave, build and can split without using words like for instance using intra-personal skills along with kinaesthetic skills for thinking and learning.
- Knowledge is also shared with the help of art and knowledge like applying metaphor and images for understanding contents and the contexts.
- Place based learning is applied and land and nature are used for the lessons.
- By putting different ideas, innovations are created.
- Work is done from wholes to the parts like modelling and then scaffolding.
- Knowledge is used centring the viewpoints of the localities and learning of the community is enhanced (Price, 2012).
As evidenced throughout this essay suggests that the condition of the aborigines have not been good in the past as they were not treated with respect. Their representation in the history and by the non-aborigines was been as nomads, the people did not understand their culture and hence they did not have the recognition that they should. The condition though is changing now and as non-aborigines are coming forward to help the aborigines, they are working with NGOs to provide community services in the areas of education and health care.
Behrendt, L. Y., Larkin, S., Griew, R., & Kelly, P. (2012). Review of higher education access and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Beresford, Q., Partington, G., & Gower, G. (2012). Reform and resistance in Aboriginal education. Reform and Resistance in Aboriginal Education, 498.
Berg, M. T., Stewart, E. A., Schreck, C., & Simons, R. L. (2015). 4 Subcultural Perspectives on Race and Crime. Criminological Perspectives on Race and Crime, 2, 248.
Bourke, L., Malatzky, C., Terry, D., Nixon, R., Ferguson, K., & Ferguson, P. (2017). Perspectives of Aboriginal issues among non?Aboriginal residents of rural Victorian communities. Australian Journal of Social Issues.
Currie, C. L., Wild, T. C., Schopflocher, D. P., Laing, L., & Veugelers, P. (2012). Racial discrimination experienced by Aboriginal university students in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 57(10), 617-625.
Featherstone, D. (2013). The Aboriginal invention of broadband: how Yarnangu are using ICTs in the Ngaanyatjarra lands of Western Australia. Information Technology and Indigenous Communities, 27.
Fiske, J., Hodge, B., & Turner, G. (2016). Myths of Oz: reading Australian popular culture. Routledge.
Gair, S., Miles, D., Savage, D., & Zuchowski, I. (2015). Racism unmasked: The experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in social work field placements. Australian Social Work, 68(1), 32-48.
Herring, S., Spangaro, J., Lauw, M., & McNamara, L. (2013). The intersection of trauma, racism, and cultural competence in effective work with aboriginal people: Waiting for trust. Australian Social Work, 66(1), 104-117.
Parker, R., & Milroy, H. (2014). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health: an overview. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 2, 25-38.
Price, K. (2012). A brief history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education in Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education: An introduction for the teaching profession, 1-20.
Ridani, R., Shand, F. L., Christensen, H., McKay, K., Tighe, J., Burns, J., & Hunter, E. (2015). Suicide prevention in Australian Aboriginal communities: a review of past and present programs. Suicide and life-threatening behavior, 45(1), 111-140.
Riley, T., & Ungerleider, C. (2012). Self-fulfilling prophecy: How teachers’ attributions, expectations, and stereotypes influence the learning opportunities afforded Aboriginal students. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue canadienne de l'éducation, 35(2), 303-333.
Smith, L. T. (2013). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. Zed Books Ltd..
Spoonley, P. (2015). New diversity, old anxieties in New Zealand: the complex identity politics and engagement of a settler society. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38(4), 650-661.
Walter, M. (2016). Data politics and Indigenous representation in Australian statistics. Indigenous data sovereignty: Toward an agenda, 79-97.
Williams, M. (2016). Arresting Incarceration: Pathways Out of Indigenous Imprisonment Don Weatherburn (Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2014, ISBN 9781922059550 (paperback), 189 pp.).