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Inside Teaching : June 2011
www.atra.edu.au | email@example.com INDIGENOUS INSIGHT 19 it means to be Australian. The truth is that it should be, and it’s up to us, as educators, to make it the underlying philosophy of our engagement with our students and their communities. To be up for the challenge, though, many of us will have to change our mindset to a can- do approach. The key question, though, is how will we do it? Schools need to find ways to open themselves up to public scrutiny, especially the scrutiny of the diverse communities that contribute to the student body. Drawing on the very powerful evidence that has come out of the Empowerment Research Program administered by the University of Queensland and James Cook University in far north Queensland communities over the past decade, it seems a workable model may already exist. School/community collaborations working to develop strategies and programs to do with social and emotional wellbeing could provide the catalyst that would make a difference not only to students’ but also to teachers’ lives, through a ‘growing together’ process that enables a real sharing of knowledge that, over time, can provide the framework of mutual respect so critical in creating an inclusive learning environment.