. . Source: www.aboriginalaustralia.com . Wadjuk. . . Balardong. . Yued. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Population characteristics: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians 2001, op.cit., p18. . Aboriginal People in Western Australia. Indigenous estimated resident population of Australia was 517,200 or 2.5% of the total population 77,900 Aboriginal people living in WAAboriginal people make up 3.8% of total WA population and 15.1% of total Australian Aboriginal population.41% of Ab32163
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4. Aboriginal People in Western Australia Indigenous estimated resident population of Australia was 517,200 or 2.5% of the total population
77,900 Aboriginal people living in WA
Aboriginal people make up 3.8% of total WA population and 15.1% of total Australian Aboriginal population.
41% of Aboriginal people live in remote areas, whilst 34% live in major cities.
(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Report 4705.0 Population Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006)
5. What are some of the issues facing our kids? Impaired social and emotional wellbeing
Serious mental health issues
Conflict in relationships
Incarceration of young people.
Absenteeism and withdrawal.
6. How your child sees his/her identity in relation to others.
How your child feels about being Aboriginal.
How your child handles discrimination and prejudice.
How your child understands where they belong.
How your child understands why they are being treated differently to others.
How they handle racism.
How your child understands why some people may accept them.
How your child understand why some people may reject them.
How your child needs to behave in order to belong to a group.
How they deal with feelings of pride of belonging to a group of people.
How they know, understand and behave in 2 different worlds.
How they make sense of the stereotypes and messages from the wider community about Aboriginal people and Aboriginal culture.
How they make sense of their experiences as a young Aboriginal person.
What and who affects their values and beliefs.
What and who affects their behaviours, expectations and obligations.
How they make and keep friends who are part of their cultural group.
How they make and keep friends who are not part of their cultural group.
How they will go about knowing, understanding and being part of Aboriginal culture.
7. Significance of current project for the education of Aboriginal children and young people ‘Low’ self-esteem is considered a potential catalyst (Affairs, 1992; Mason & Wilson, 1988), especially academic outcomes (Marsh & Yeung, 1997; Pedersen & Walker, 1997; Purdie, Tripcony, Boulton-Lewis, Gunstone & Fanshawe, 2000).
Urban Aboriginal children and youths are more at risk (Zubrick et al., 2005).
Aboriginal students do not perform well academically (except for physical education), have high absenteeism and truancy rates and high incidence of misbehaviour (Education Department of Western Australia [EDWA], 1998; Malin, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1998; Munns, 1998; Nicklin Dent & Hatton, 1996; Reference Group Overseeing the National Review of Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 1995).
Identity problems have been connected to an increasing isolation from school, leading to complete withdrawal (Groome & Hamilton, 1995; Grotevant,1987; Purdie et al, 2000).
Culturally appropriate measures almost non-existent (Dudgeon et al, 1990).
ngala mia koorda boodja
Our place is in country, family & culture
9. Project Objectives SHORT TERM
To develop a sound knowledge base of indigenous children’s sense of self including self-esteem and identity.
To utilise this knowledge to determine culturally appropriate criteria that forms indigenous sense of self and its related constructs.
To pilot the I-RISE measure with urban Aboriginal children.
To utilise the I-RISE measure for a full scale research project in the near future.
10. Research Questions What element(s) comprise indigenous children’s identity and how do they impact upon it?
What element(s) comprise indigenous children’s self-esteem and how do they impact upon it?
What is the relationship between self-esteem and identity of indigenous children and how do they impact sense of self?
Qualitative (personal interviews) and
quantitative (survey) methods
Qualitative data analysed by extracting
Quantitative data analyses using SPSS
12. School based study -5 EDWA Schools (north X2, west, south, central)
8-12 years of age
Male and female
35 children (70% response rate)
28 parents (80% response rate)
14. Literature review
Previous research IRISE Aboriginal Community
Others A culturally informed measure
15. IRISE_C 38 item survey
4 point likert
Subscale 1: Knowledge of racial identity
Subscale 2: Importance of racial identity
Subscale 3: Knowledge of culture
Subscale 4: Importance of culture
16. 4 Subscales
Internal Reliability Internal Validity
(Cronbach Alpha) (Pearson Bivariate Correlation)
Racial Identity (knowledge) .729 .982**
Racial Identity (salience) .859 .999**
Culture (knowledge) .814 .992**
Culture (salience) .814 .984**
17. Preparation of Aboriginal foods
Socialising with Aboriginal children
Aboriginal group acceptance
Consumption of Aboriginal foods
26. Racism One in three self-reported verbal abuse (interpersonal racism)
Intra racial racism (one isolated case)
Perpetrators mostly non-Aboriginal peers at school
Youngest experience at 8 yrs of age
Most reports from 10 year olds
Most had a passive reaction to racism
27. Interpersonal racism Name calling, swearing and teasing
Reference to skin colour…you’re a black dog.
Negative stereotypes …sometimes they [wedjula kids] talk about you…[they say]...like they [Aboriginal kids] don’t brush their hair or anything and they don’t take a shower or whatever.
28. For the Child:
Sense of belonging/connectedness
Family and extended kin
Focal sense of self
Positive feelings (pride, connectedness, happiness)
For the Aboriginal community:
Respect for relationships
Appropriate ways to behave and communicate
Discipline for laws
Connectedness to everything and everyone.
Spiritual, physical, social, emotional, cultural richness
What does all this mean?
29. Take home message
Mainstream schools are “public” achievement domains and it has been shown Aboriginal children do not feel as though they can express their Aboriginal identity in a safe and secure environment,
Self-esteem is linked to academic outcomes for Aboriginal students (Marsh & Yeung, 1997; Pedersen & Walker, 1997; Purdie, Tripcony, Boulton-Lewis, Gunstone & Fanshawe, 2000).
This is very crucial in the education of Aboriginal school children because success rates of completing primary and secondary school are appalling (% here).
In Australian schools, it is extremely important that the social context is a culturally safe and secure place where Aboriginal children can express their identity, feel accepted and gain some equality of their Aboriginal identity.
Acceptance and equality helps Aboriginal children feel good about themselves and which can then have a positive influence on their academic attendance and retention.
30. A Rights perspective… United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 29, 1997, p. 1. states that a child’s education should ensure:
… The development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential…
…The development of respect for the child’s own cultural identity, language and values…
31. What should schools do? Traditional Aboriginal acknowledge of country
Active and visible engagement of elders
Excursions and incursions
Posters, paintings and pictures
Aboriginal school community engagement
32. The future IRISE project IRISE stands for Indigenous Racial Identity and Self-Esteem
Nyoongah term is koordoormitj (soul/sense of self).
IRISE program of research was initially started from a pilot study that developed a culturally relevant instrument of identity and self-esteem for young Australian Aboriginal children.
A suite of instruments:
IRISE_A adults…………………….. nyoongah and yorga
IRISE_YC very young children…....koorniny
33. Acknowledgements Special thanks to
Aboriginal children and families who have given me permission to use their pictures in this presentation
Aboriginal child participants and their carers for participating in this project
Tracy, Yandi, Sue and Anne for assisting me in the research process
EDWA and District Education Offices for permission to conduct the study
Carol Garlett for her support and direction
AIEOs (Lynne, Dawn, Betty, Tania, Fatima, Nat) for their commitment and work ethic
School Principals, Deputys and Teachers for their support
My support network (Helen Milroy, Juli, Rani, Ellen, Dave, Deborah J, Francis, Sven, Adele)
My Nyoongah people who put me here in the first place!
My kids and hubby for putting up with me