The guiding values of Jindaola are grounded in the Aboriginal knowledges of this place. This means that grant recipients within an interdisciplinary and interfaculty cohort periodically come together and contribute to the knowledge exchange with the guidance and grounding of these values. The value of reciprocity ‘ngapartji ngapartji’ – the act of giving and taking – takes on a central role in the sharing of knowledge, experience, and journey.
Jindaola represents a philosophy of practice, where Country is recognised and revered as the ultimate Knowledge Holder. Grounded in the principles of Respect, Responsibility, and Reciprocity, Country is walked with, sat with and learned from consistently throughout the journey of Jindaola.
Aboriginal cultures pre-contact upheld disciplined customs in maintaining their symbiotic relationships with all things related to their ecological environment. This required ceremonies and gatherings, generally relating to the changing of seasons or the migrations of animals, birds or fish. These customs are still practiced, and have simply [and sophistically] been adapted by Aboriginal peoples to accommodate their contemporary worlds. The significance of ceremony and gathering being core to cultural identity, and an ever-present obligation within community, requires regularity, routine and relevance. Today one colloquial term used for such ceremony is ‘business’.
The six R’s as they have become known; Respect, Responsibility, Reciprocity, Regularity, Routine and Relevance, are the protocols that underpin Jindaola and all activities within the program.
Expectations of participation in Jindaola
Jindaola being the protector of many Knowledges would travel Country… walking between Bora, camp fires, gatherings and collaborations, Jindaola moves across particular spoken and unspoken protocols to maintain the integrity of his Dreaming. These practices in the context of the program are known as the Formal and Informal roles, responsibilities and obligations we all have within these defined relationships and Knowledge we learn and create.
Successful recipients are required to be involved and contribute to the five workshops over the 18-month grant term. Please note that it is expected that all grant recipients will make appropriate efforts to attend all these workshops, as they are the Formal Gatherings to engage in local Aboriginal ways of being, knowing and doing that will influence directly the success of the team in embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and perspectives into the UOW Curriculum.
Using Jindaola outside Yuin Country
Where it is ‘common practice’ within the academy to apply ‘good practice’ from elsewhere to respond to a similar area of need, in the case of Jindaola such transferability is not as easy nor direct.
We acknowledge that across Australia and even beyond, academics urgently seek successful methods for decolonising curriculum and reconciling Knowledges from different cultures. Although Jindaola cannot under any circumstances be copied as a pre-packaged, ‘plug-and-play’ program.
Some principles and approaches that may be considered in facilitating a path towards curriculum reconciliation in other contexts could include:
- shifting one’s philosophical approach to differing Knowledges from a deficit to a strengths-based model
- working towards and facilitating genuine ongoing two-way relationships around cultural Knowledges and perspectives with the appropriate Knowledge Holders to create shared principles for practice.
- making space for and privileging non-dominant cultural epistemologies, ontologies and pedagogies within a tailored learning environment.
The process of reconciling Knowledges must be created on Country in respect to its ways. This relationship extends beyond place, it includes the people and culture of that place, and hence the individuality and particularity of each case and the significance of this when respectfully building knowledge-based relationships. The objective is knowledge integrity, and in achieving this, it is the responsibility of universities, academics, curriculum developers and local community to not perpetuate colonising approaches that prescribe and position non-dominant cultural knowledges within the curriculum as ‘other’.
Establishing foundational knowledge-based relationships however will foster change and offer a holistic understanding of how disciplinary knowledges relate across cultures and within a multifaceted and multilayered landscape and society.
Images: Drawings and images related to the program are copyrighted. They represent sensitive cultural meanings associated with living and learning on Yuin Country. The images used on this website are drawn by Jade Kennedy.
Concepts: The protocols and particular Knowledges presented within the program are of this place and are specific to the Yuin. The cultural Knowledges shared remain the property of the Elder’s and Knowledge-Holders who are their custodians.
- Seeking written permission to use the program’s name, images and content, is required, even with prior verbal approval. This shall apply for UOW staff as well as external stakeholders.
- Seeking written permission to use Jade Kennedy’s (Knowledge holder) name and image, is required, even with prior verbal approval. This shall apply for UOW staff as well as external stakeholders.
- Request permission