RCE Greater Western Sydney - 2018


Teacher Cultural Capacity Professional Development Day
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Teacher Cultural Capacity Professional Development Day
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Western Sydney
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE-GWS partner Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Mike Bartlett
Organizational Affiliation: 
Sydney Olympic Park Authority
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Geographical & Education Information
Western Sydney
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW, 2751
Target Audience:
March, 2018 to July, 2018
The project addressed key needs relevant to Greater Western Sydney (particularly in the context that GWS hosts the largest urban Aboriginal population in Australia).
These needs are:
1) Authentic (cultural) professional development opportunities for Early Learning and Primary School teachers
2) Relationship and trust building between teachers / school and Indigenous communities
3) Cultural capacity building, learning and knowledge sharing opportunities for Indigenous Youth and Elders
The program aimed to engage teachers with the art, science and technologies of Indigenous culture, such as traditional ecological knowledge to enable authentic teaching of the National cross-curriculum priority: 2.4 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History and Cultures.

The three goals of the project were:

1) Development of a full-day teacher professional development workshop.
2) Paid delivery of the program by Murama Aboriginal Youth Leaders with the support of cultural advisers and Elders
3) Target participation of up to 30 primary and high school teachers from Greater Western Sydney.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Workshops unpacking the cross-cutting National Curriculum theme of Aboriginal Histories and Cultures followed by hands on cultural appreciation activities led by Indigenous youth with the encouragement and mentoring of Aboriginal Elders and Community leaders.
Size of academic audience: 
Participation was from 50 practicing teachers and Education undergraduates. This translates into approximately 18 different school communities and total school student and early childhood reach (this year through teaching and student placements) of 600 students. All three objectives were met. The project sparked an additional partnership with City of Canada Bay and Victoria Avenue Early Learning Centre resulting in a parallel offering for Early Learning Teachers. The Early Learning workshop was oversubscribed. The Primary Teachers workshop was initially undersubscribed, however there was significant interest from undergraduate teachers from Western Sydney University facilitated by the faculty of Education.
Lessons learned: 
The RCE member network could have been better leveraged to achieve greater reach, participation and regional spread of participation. An inherent challenge continues to be reaching teachers effectively (and equitably) through promotional channels – particularly social media.
Key messages: 
A unique model of culturally authentic and curriculum relevant professional development for teachers which simultaneously provided capacity building opportunities for Indigenous Elders and young leaders.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The activity was linked to the Murama Indigenous Youth Summit and Youth Eco Summits held at Sydney Olympic Park. Both of these events include multiple RCE members/partners. The project is a pilot activity within a broader initiative seeking to develop sustainable employment opportunities and learning pathways for Indigenous people through a dedicated cultural arts and education centre on the Parramatta River.
Seed funding from RCE-GWS was crucial. This in enabled the activity to be inclusive (subsidised for teachers) and not revenue dependent. It continued best practice of honouring the cultural contributions of Elders with appropriate remuneration and providing participation incentives / recognition for young Indigenous leaders.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon SOPA Teacher PD 2018.jpg (268.46 KB) Teachers looking at aboriginal art M. Bartlett
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers