We are Sandhurst Catholic Education communities who strive to be Jesus in the world and live the spirit of John 10:10, I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly. This policy is an affirmation that the Church, following the example of Jesus, seeks to achieve justice, harmony, respect and reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples.Aboriginal peoples are the oldest continuous culture on earth and as the first Australians occupy a unique place in contemporary Australian society.The Sandhurst Diocese is situated in a landscape that is rich in ancient and contemporary stories, histories and sacred sites where local Aboriginal peoples are generously willing to share culture and history.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the most marginalised peoples across all the social parameters in contemporary Australian society.The gap in educational outcomes for Aboriginal students is apparent, however despite this, many Sandhurst Aboriginal students have successfully graduated from our schools and Colleges.For most teachers in our schools and colleges, there remains a significant gap with regard to cultural competence, historical knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal Australia.The Victorian Curriculum outlines the Aboriginal cross curriculum priorities to be taught across the year levels and explains the protocols for teachers.The transformative power of education can change society and form the basis for intergenerational change for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The Good News of Jesus Christ requires all those who believe in it to work towards a radical transformation of the world. CoSSI – Australian Social Justice Council (2003)
We promote the God-given dignity of each person, honouring the cultures and faith traditions of all. We value the richness of diversity and difference.
CoSSI – Catholic Identity
All Sandhurst Catholic schools and Colleges will:
- be culturally safe places of learning, growing and belonging for Aboriginal students, families and community members
- value traditional custodianship and the place of the local Aboriginal peoples and their traditional knowledges and beliefs
- celebrate and value Aboriginal history and culture
- seek the assistance and expertise of, and work in authentic partnership with, Koorie Education Workers, local Aboriginal communities and the Sandhurst Aboriginal Education Team.
All Sandhurst leaders and teachers will:
- be formed and informed so as to incorporate the Aboriginal perspective respectfully and accurately across the curriculum as outlined in the Victorian Curriculum.
- ensure all staff have regular access to, and engage in, Aboriginal education professional learning
- create school cultures where Aboriginal students are proud of their identity and grow to their fullest potential, both culturally and spiritually.