Impact

The journey of Jindaola focuses on the educational development of participants. Success along this journey equals many things as does impact. Below is a list of subjects that have resulted in the representations of knowledge-based relationships. Each subject identifies relevant Aboriginal Knowledges or perspectives to the subject matter and disciplines that align with the degrees and curricula that Jindaola participants have worked to transform.

Jindaola - Recognition and Reach Report - July 2020 (PDF)

Curriculum change

To date there has been 167 participants in 17 teams across five cohorts walking together on the Jindaola journey. The teams have spanned each faculty, and various schools within, as well as various business units and in 2021 an external team was welcomed. Teams are a diverse mix of academic and professional staff. Jindaola teams are selected based on team capacity and commitment for sustainable collaboration across faculties and business units that ensures an authentic and sustainable flow of knowledge within and between each cohort.

Curriculum changes to date include over 44 subject changes, with potential reach to approximately 5,170 students each year and over 180 staff. A selection of curriculum changes from Cohorts 1 and 2 are outlined below:

Arts, Social Sciences & Humanities

  • Bachelor Creative Arts Poetry Foundation CACW105: underpinned by an Aboriginal epistemological framework and developed collaboratively; all learning takes place in the context of five key principles: Country, Kinship, Culture, Journey and Connectedness
  • Bachelor Creative Arts Cultural Knowledges: a core subject for all BCA undergraduate students which was developed and implemented following participation in the Jindaola program
  • Creative Writing: CACW231 Writing, Representation and Power: Students were encouraged to consider Australia Day in light of Alexis Wright’s poem ‘Hey Ancestor!’
  • Creative Writing: CACW390 Major Project: Students taken outside for a writing exercise to consider our current historical moment, and potential futures, in light of the long history of Indigenous presence in this area.
  • Biogeography and Environmental Change EESC203: has been updated to include Indigenous perspectives on fire.
  • Geography: GEOG123 Questioning Country: currently being delivered to 361 students. The subject includes a diversity of Indigenous voices with additional guest speakers, readings, podcasts, and videos.
  • Geography: GEOG122 Living in a Material World. This revised subject includes a module and major assessment task focusing on a local Wollongong case study which privileges Indigenous connections to Country and questions of social justice
  • Geography: GEOG222 Society & Environment(core): Begins on Yuin Country and incorporates guest lecturer introducing the Concept of County and the significance of relationships in this place
  • Geography: GEOG354 Environmental Crime and Justice: A fieldtrip to Sandon Point, a local site of Aboriginal activism, was taught by a traditional owner, activist and teacher. In 2020 it was redesigned as virtual fieldtrip through careful curation and creation of authentic resources which placed the local Aboriginal perspectives centre-stage and innovatively asks students to reflect on what is not there in the virtual experience.
  • Psychology: PSYC123 Statistics & Methods (core): Introduced a different perspective of knowledge and ways of knowing. Yarning circles were also used to create a supportive environment for students to build stronger relationships.

Business and Law

  • Commerce COMM291 Work Integrated Learning: Pilot guiding non-Aboriginal students into an Aboriginal business environment, and Aboriginal student to non-Aboriginal business environment (2nd year)
  • Master Business Administration MBA904 Design Thinking and Business Transformation: Yarning circle pedagogy implemented

Science, Medicine and Health

SMAH whole course

  • Indigenous Trauma Recovery Program Graduate Certificate authentically design curriculum co-developed by UOW trauma, education and health experts with Indigenous experts across Australia
  • Science, Medicine and Health: All first-year students: Online module: Local Elders teaching historical, social and cultural knowledge as related to Yuin country.

SMAH subjects

  • Biology: BIOL103: Aboriginal knowledges on healing and health infection and immunity
  • Chemistry: CHEM215: Students participated in the Towri Bush Tucker Garden workshop. Students gained insight into Aboriginal knowledge concerning local plants and their nutritional and medicinal uses.
  • Chemistry Pharmacology: CHEM358: Lecture/tutorial material on traditional medicines developed and delivered in conjunction with local Aboriginal Elders.
  • Medicine: MEDI380: Lecture/tutorial developed and delivered – case study of a young Yuin boy, as the patient vehicle to describe cultural humility and responsiveness in professional behaviour. Learning outcome: to explain how one’s own cultural context can lead to bias in health service delivery and perpetuate disparities.
  • Medicine: MEDI150: Aboriginal perspective on changes in food supply in a post-colonial setting.
  • Medicine: MEDI355: Aboriginal knowledge that has provided innovation to the modern Australian food supply.
  • Medicine: MEDI363: cultural humility and responsiveness: ‘right way’ working with and learning from Aboriginal communities
  • Medicine: MEDI382: Nature and Nurture in Human Disease: Yarning on Country Yuin
  • Nutrition & Dietetics: DIET466/966/468/968: Cultural humility and responsiveness, interacting ‘right way’ in the context of nutritional counselling with Aboriginal clients.
  • Physics PHYS101: The concepts of lift and the aerofoil taught through the returning Boomerang, an apparatus local to Yuin Country. Students come to understand the dynamics of flight which explores the cultural significance and the construction process of the returning boomerang as well as the flight mechanism

Student experience

Student learning and student experiences of Aboriginal Knowledges and perspectives at this point in time has not been heavily researched, however, feedback from particular subjects has been meaningful, authentic and insightful. It is clear our students are yearning to learn and relate with Aboriginal Knowledges. The following quotes and feedback share some of the impacts our students have been able to articulate.

Creative Writing

“I have loved how the subject is shaped around Indigenous concepts and I've found it's really boosted my creativity…this module has allowed me to draw…out and articulate my personal connection to the place I live and has opened up new areas I will continue to explore in my writing” (2020 Poetry Foundation student)

“The subject has made me view the world a bit differently… it's important to be aware of the world and relationships and so giving a fresh way to think of these can only be beneficial”. (2020 Poetry Foundation student)

“It allowed me to take in tiny details about my surroundings which I probably never would have considered around the areas of country, kinship, culture and journey. With this understanding I was able to write more in detail about my surroundings within my poetry” (Creative Writing student, 2020)

Geography

I've worked in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander space for the last 10 years in communications [...] and have never come across formal training or learning which was as meaningful - it gives me such hope for the future!” (GEOG122 Student, 2020).

“[Jindaola facilitator’s] acknowledgment of the country and how Indigenous people respect, value, and see the land as their story in their timeline.” (GEOG222 Student, 2020).

“As I have lived in Coledale all my life, I was definitely aware of the tent embassy but had very little knowledge about the actual protest that took place or that the remains of the kuradgi man had been discovered there” (GEOG354 student) 

“Having the field trip explained by an Indigenous man helped to understand the significance of the place and the events that transpired there”. (GEOG354 student).

I've worked in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander space for the last 10 years in communications [...] and have never come across formal training or learning which was as meaningful - it gives me such hope for the future!” (GEOG122 Student, 2020).

Biogeography and Environmental Science

“Before commencing this unit, I had very little understanding of the importance that fire plays in Australian landscapes. My understanding was that fire was a largely detrimental environmental process, one that caused extreme damage to landscapes and endangered and killed local wildlife. I could not comprehend why Aboriginal people purposely set out to burn areas of bush, except perhaps to bring in a ‘new round’ of prey to the area. Applying the knowledge I have gained through the course of this unit, I know understand that fire is a great ‘disturber’ for an environment and has the ability to regenerate an area through a number of ways.” (Earth and Environmental Science Student, 2018)

“This subject has altered my behaviour towards the environment as it has led me to appreciate different vegetation communities and understand the significant extent in which humans impact them, and how Indigenous people may use and protect them. This was done by looking at human disturbance in the Illawarra in depth during the field practicals and field report. As of now, I see myself appreciating different vegetation communities and their components a lot more and trying little things like reducing my carbon footprint.” (Earth and Environmental Science Student, 2020)

Master Business Administration

“Understanding now how the Aboriginal people connect so intimately with Country, how the Aboriginal education system is highly intricate with their Story as it’s passed through Learning & Journey down through the generations...simply an incredible experience that humbled me greatly” (MBA904 Student, 2021).

“One of the powerful experiences was the in-class Yarning Circle. Inspired by Aboriginal culture allowed us to get to know our peers on a personal level and learn about each other and respect our cultures” (MBA904 Student, 2020)

“During the yarning circle many of the students were able to open up about the challenges that they faced and sacrifices made in order to move to Australia to study” (MBA904 Student, 2020).

Medicine

“I don’t really get much of an opportunity to hear Aboriginal Elders speak, and I learned a lot about their personal perspectives and what they personally experienced. It was also really insightful to hear about the legislation and protests that happened again, I don’t hear about it all the time and it was a fantastic reminder. I found it super informative to hear about all the programs and enrichment in the community of the Illawarra, and I found it powerful and insightful how the Elders talk about the importance of the children and how important educating children is to them” (MEDI382 student)

“Taking away from the module is the depth and importance of culture for First Nations people, as well as learning about the terminology used. Learning what the term ‘Country’ means for First Nations people, it highlighted something that was never taught in high school, and that is what Australia means and the relationship that exists between First Nations people and the land.” (MEDI382 student)

Biology

“I now understand the importance of connection to place and medicine but also the need to preserve it and pass it on.” (First year Biology Student, 2018)