13 Connecting with elders

Delena Kendall

We’re really struggling with making connections with the local community elders. Can someone please put together some ideas for this, specific to a location in Queensland?
Connecting with local Wakka Wakka community elders


This resource is specifically designed for educators located in the South Burnett region to assist them in fostering engagement with local community members. However, there is use for this resource in other regions with some details for educators to access resources. The resource is to be used a guide to incorporate the local Indigenous community members into the education setting.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives place importance on community connectedness, therefore student learning should incorporate their local community and build upon prior knowledge. Furthermore, the incorporation of collective rather than individual activities further fosters that sense of community within the learning environment (Holmes, 2018).

Children learn through observation and imitation; therefore, educators should consider incorporating traditional teaching methods into current practices. If a child’s first language and culture are not acknowledged and integrated into their school environment, the children are set up to fail (Holmes, 2018).

The resource additionally captures aspects of the Early Years Learning Framework [EYLF] (DEEWR, 2009) for Australia. The following outcomes are met:
Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity: 1.1-1.4
• Children feel safe, secure, and supported
• Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency
• Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities
• Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect
Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world: 2.1, 2.2
• Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the reciprocal rights and responsibilities necessary for active community participation
• Children respond to diversity with respect
Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners: 4.1, 4.4
• Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity
• Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials


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