Jindaola at the University of Wollongong is an educational development grants program facilitated by a local traditional Knowledge Holder and established in consultation with local Aboriginal community. The program engages participants in an Aboriginal way towards achieving Curriculum Reconciliation. Curriculum Reconciliation in a professional learning context describes a process of taking participants on a journey with Country to decolonise thinking and engage participants in the negotiation of authentic knowledge-based relationships between Aboriginal Knowledges and their relevant disciplinary knowledges.
Jindaola, the carrier of sacred Knowledges.
A glimpse into its conception and reception.
Jindaola, the carrier of sacred knowledges
Jindaola is the Dharawal word for Goanna. Jindaola within our dreamings he walks from place to place, teaching people the proper way for conducting business. Jindaola is a professional development program for staff at the University. It takes an Aboriginal approach to supporting staff to embed Aboriginal perspectives and knowledges into the curriculum.
Jindaola is part of Yuin law and so Jindaola is situated within this Country and the way in which that related to UOW is that the majority of onshore campuses sits within Yuin.
It’s made possible through funding from the office for the Pro Vice Chancellor Inclusion and Outreach. It’s designed and developed by staff from Learning, Teaching & Curriculum and it draws participants from across all faculties at the University of Wollongong and continues to expand annually.
It has reinforced my confidence in what I was already doing in my curriculum and working with a team of people, it has given me the confidence, that I’m not the only person trying to make these changes. It’s really great to work within a team that are doing the same thing.
As geographers, we are really interested in reimagining not just what our students learn but how our students learn in a way that fundamentally respects this country that we stand on
and the deep history of the people from this place.
We're taking the approach that we need to scaffold Aboriginal knowledges we begin with raising student cultural awareness and we're aiming to end with graduates who have a deep authentic understanding of cultural responsiveness and the need for cultural humility.
Jindaola asks us to take a holistic view of the curriculum. For the business faculty this meant understanding our current landscape, understanding the current knowledges that exist within our curriculum and then gaining an understanding of Aboriginal knowledges and looking at the ways that these two areas can come together and respect the relationship that they form.
It gives me lots of support and makes me feel like there's lots of people within the University who are looking to try and make these changes and improve things for Indigenous Australians and the way that education is delivered.
It brings together the participants with staff from Learning Teaching & Curriculum and Aboriginal community through informal and formal gatherings so they can collaborate together and take a journey together. Learn together; solve problems together in a collaborative and authentic knowledge exchange to embed Aboriginal perspectives into the curriculum.
So he's left these tracks for us long before we was even here and those tracks represent for us part of our law and to follow in these tracks will ensure for us a meaningful and respectful and appropriate way of approach to the embedding of Aboriginal knowledges and perspectives within curricula.
Sharing our Stories
Jindaola brings together Knowledges and peoples from various faculties, business units, Learning Teaching and Curriculum and Aboriginal Elders and Knowledge Holders for the purposes of knowledge creation, learning development and sharing. In walking this Journey… this way together… we are establishing the appropriate relationships for embedding authentic Aboriginal stories, experiences, Knowledges and perspective into the curriculum at UOW. This is an ‘Aboriginal way’… these are the ‘old ways’ of Jindaola… and it is in this way we are walking towards reconciling the curriculum.