African heritage culturally safe resources development project
During the past 40 years, Australia has resettled thousands of African refugees. Many are young people who have fled their homes to escape violence and spent years in refugee camps, where they’ve had limited access to education. When they arrive in Australia, they are in such a disadvantaged social position that it can be difficult for them to make the most of any educational opportunities.
Teachers need resources to help them deal with the specific challenges that these young people face at school. With the right support in high school these young people can thrive at university or in their chosen profession.
Deakin University researchers have been contracted to develop a suite of African heritage cultural competency teaching resources for the Victorian Department of Education and Training.
The team is working closely with the Department to lead a series of focus groups with school principals and Victorian students of African heritage. Focus group input and literature review will contribute to the development of the resources to be accessed and utilised by school faculty (principals, senior teachers, coordinators etc) to support inclusive environments for their students.
The resources will include a cultural competency framework designed to support school leaders by addressing the key concerns facing their students and providing them actionable steps to close the inclusion gap.