Pioneering two-way language initiatives recognised

Asset Publisher

14 March 2024

Reward and recognition

Patricia Konigsberg is a linguist and educator and is a leading advocate for two-way learning.

Through her role as principal consultant in the Department’s Quality Teaching business area, she has brought cultural responsiveness to the forefront of education.

Patricia strives to ensure that every student feels seen and valued in the education.

She has collaborating closely with esteemed UWA Honorary Research Fellow, Glenys Collard, since 1995.  Together, they have initiated an English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) practice tailored to the unique needs of Aboriginal students, empowering them to thrive academically and culturally.

Patricia's innovation, focus on inclusivity, and unwavering dedication has earned her a place among the five finalists in the 2024 Women of Achievement Award.

She was nominated by Kevin O’Keefe, Principal Advisor for Aboriginal Education Teaching and Learning at the Department.

In the nomination, Mr O’Keefe praised how Patricia has been able to make a significant impact on education.

“Patricia has a unique gift for translating academic ideas about Aboriginal English to an Indigenous world view and then somehow incorporating this knowledge into resources in the classroom for teachers to access and use,” Kevin said.

“It’s not just ground-breaking, it’s pioneering, seminal work; her ability to put theory into practice is really profound. That body of work – ‘Tracks to two-way learning’ - is a magnum opus.”

Patricia emphasises the importance for all staff and Aboriginal students to learn about Aboriginal English.

“Many of the Aboriginal students themselves are not aware of the fact that Aboriginal English exists and that they are actually speaking Aboriginal English,“ she said.

“We must look at the real language that the students bring and the realities of the students if we are to make a difference.”

“And I think that's always been true to our work.”

Learn more about the other finalists nominated for the Women of Achievement Award

The winner will be announced at the Department’s International Women’s Day breakfast, on Monday 18 March 2024.