Learning in Community: Reflections on Seventeen Years of Visiting Kuntri
The process of engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities should be grounded within a human rights context, whereby it is the responsibility of those with agency and opportunity within universities and other institutions to recognize, support and action the rights of Indigenous peoples to be included and involved at the highest levels of education design and delivery. In keeping with an Indigenous human rights approach, this inclusion of Indigenous peoples in higher education design and delivery needs to occur via equitable, negotiated and culturally safe terms for all concerned. Further to this, facilitators and participants must understand and challenge the influence and impact of inappropriate, inaccurate, misleading and discriminatory notions about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity and authenticity that are generated in a myriad of forums outside of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consent and control. The process of successful and sustainable engagement is facilitated by building meaningful interpersonal, inter-organizational and intercultural relationships beyond those that the Western university typically acknowledges or supports. Staff and students of the university will need to have a keen appreciation for the fundamental philosophies, values and customs of Indigenous peoples and groups they are engaging with, including the significance of relationships to kuntri and the importance of reciprocity and sustainable process. This chapter presents a personal reflection on these topics. I discuss the process and outcomes of designing and facilitating student engagement experiences with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers and hosts since 1997. In doing so, I present some of my own key lessons and make suggestions that may help develop and improve other peoples’ experiences in the future.
Engaging First Peoples in Arts-Based Service Learning
Social and Community Psychology