Indigenous perspectives in teacher education 

BITTE, CDU and community meet

Indigenous Perspectives Working Party - workshop participants

The Northern Territory Teacher Education Reaccreditation Summit staged in March 2006 was a forum for wide stakeholder consultation regarding the direction of the future of the Charles Darwin University (CDU) Teacher Education degree. A collaborative endeavour between the Department of Employment, Education and Training NT (DEET) and CDU, the Summit resulted in eight Working Parties. Charged as think tanks to further the initial summit findings, the charter of the Working Parties is to fine tune and filter the graduate attributes of the new degree: the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (BTL).

The Indigenous Perspective Working Party is convened by the Chair, Linda Ford, an Indigenous lecturer in the School of Education at CDU, and is charged with ensuring that a considered approach to both explicit and embedded Indigenous Knowledge and Culture is identified and developed through the BTL.

The Indigenous Perspectives Working Party for the reaccreditation of the Bachelor of Education called a meeting of all interested Indigenous people on 5, 6 and 7 June.

The focal aim of the Indigenous Perspectives Working Party (IPWP) is to discuss how to embed Indigenous knowledge in the core curriculum. The IPWP also discussed the scope of Indigenous Perspectives in the development of the new Bachelor of Education course in partnership with DEET and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE). This was the first time that such a knowledgeable group of Indigenous people have been invited to contribute to the reaccreditation of a higher education program in the School of Education.

The Indigenous Perspectives must be embedded in Graduate Attributes, Content and Outcomes in the unit’s core curriculum of the BTL. The Indigenous Perspectives must be explicit in identifying ‘how to’, ‘who’ and ‘what’ resources are required to ensure that there is access for Indigenous Community input.

The new BTL course is three years. Each of the domain areas are:

  1. Indigenous perspectives
  2. Pedagogy
  3. Networks and Partnerships
  4. Futures
  5. Essential Professional Knowledge
  6. Organisation, rules, regulations, obligations
  7. Teaching Schools
  8. Research

The Indigenous consultation process includes a cross-section of Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders.

The Indigenous Perspectives Working Party Committee involved Indigenous stakeholders including Tanyah Nasir (Group Training NT), Bill Turner (Department of Education), David Guy, Terry Dunbar (CDU), Lorna Murakami-Gold (Larrakia Nation Inc.), Noressa Bulsey (BIITE), Robyn Ober (BIITE), Betty Ah Kit (IASL, CDU), Jason Davidson (PhD student, CDU) and Joe Daby (NT Health).

Key stakeholders involved in the three day meeting were Marian Patterson (community rep), Kathy Deveraux (BIITE), Julie Turner (teacher education student), Peter Pearce (student, CDU), Curtis Roman (PhD student and lecturer, CDU), Geoff Freeman (lecturer, CDU) and many more from across the Northern Territory.

For further information contact Linda Ford on 8946 6125 or email

Written by Marian Patterson, Linda Ford and Geoff Freeman. Images by Geoff Freeman.