Three Indigenous educators studying to become teachers at Curtin University have attended a conference in Canada to share their thoughts and experiences in the Indigenous education space.
Cassia Primary School family liaison officer Sarah Nowers, Katanning Primary School Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer Leanne Eades and Cable Beach Primary School Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer Shanice Flemming were chosen to attend the Indigenous-led Teacher Education in Local and Global Contexts Symposium.
The symposium, which ran from October 13 to 15, involved participants from 14 Indigenous-led teacher education programs across the world, including from Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand and Norway.
They met to share insights, perspectives, challenges and successes to inform the further development of Indigenous teacher education programs.
The educators are part of the On-Country Teacher Education program, a joint pilot program between the Department of Education Western Australia and Curtin University.
The program allows Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers to study a Bachelor of Education in their hometown through Curtin University.
Speaking to the National Indigenous Times, Ms Nowers said she was excited to be in Canada to share her experience with On-Country teaching.
“I want to become a teacher because I believe that it is important to have meaningful and authentic representation of Aboriginal learning in the classroom,” she said.
“Our next generations should be proud to see people who look like them and grew up in their town becoming leaders and inspire them to be leaders too.
“I hope to make meaningful connections with people who want the same outcomes in their countries.”
Ms Flemming told the NIT she wanted to become a teacher to boost Aboriginal representation in the sector.
“Pursuing my teaching career means that I can continue being an advocate for all students who need support and creating a safe, supportive and culturally responsive environment,” she said.
“Culture, respect, commitment, trust and excellence are the values I go by so once I become a teacher, I will continue to bring those values along with me, to carry on with building connections with students, families and staff through their cultures and love of learning.”