This report belongs to the Aboriginal Communities of Dubbo, Narromine, Gilgandra, Peak Hill, Trangie, Wellington and Mudgee, and the North West Wiradjuri Language and Culture Nest Reference Group.
Aboriginal Language and Culture Nests were set up following a series of Aboriginal Language Forums coordinated by NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group from 2012. Aboriginal Language and Culture Nests have been established in public schools in NSW as part of OCHRE.
A nest is a network of communities bound together by their connection through an Aboriginal Language. Each nest continues to create learning pathways for Aboriginal students, teachers and community members. The size, shape and form of the Aboriginal Language and culture nests are community driven.
- The history of colonisation still has impacts on the success and structure of the Nest, and views of Aboriginal language and culture. In particular there is ongoing debate in the Aboriginal communities about who can teach and learn the Wiradjuri Language and how this should be decided.
- There is some tension between Government policies that support Aboriginal languages and cultures and autonomy of School Principals through Local Schools, Local Decisions.
- The NSW Government legislation and policies that support Aboriginal languages and cultures, such as the Aboriginal Language Act 2017, need to be reinforced in schools.
- Expanded funding would create opportunities for ongoing training, information sharing and resource development for Wiradjuri teachers and tutors. This would include opportunities for coordinators and teachers to access additional funding for mentoring and support for tutors.
- It is recommended to develop a respectful and culturally safe environment for Aboriginal language and culture teachers, tutors and students in schools. Ensure all staff, Principals, teachers and general staff receive localised Aboriginal cultural competency and safety training.