Issues in Aboriginal Education

Essay by matonnaUniversity, Bachelor'sB, January 2007

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I write this essay with a heavy heart, as I am one who was educated in Australia but still unaware of the important part the Indigenous people played in our history to make Australia what it is today. I was unaware of the suffering and discrimination they had suffered and still suffer today from circumstances of past Policies and Acts.

Aboriginal education in Australia has a history since colonisation. Since 1788, Indigenous people have been exposed to a flood of political influences which have led to often painful socio-cultural change. Such change was marked by a series of specific policy eras including segregation, protection, assimilation, integration, to name a few (C.D. Rowley pg. vi).

Native Title Act (1993)

Terra Nullius a Latin expression meaning "the land of no-one" (Delbridge, A.) was claimed by Cook on arrival, to the British. This false assumption, lead the Crown to claim and distribute the land to colonists by the Government.

"Native Title is the right to land or water enjoyed by Indigenous people who have maintained their connection to the land or water and whose possession under their traditional law or customs is recognised by Australian Law". (Delbridge, A.).

Terra Nullius was another lie in the eyes of the Indigenous people. However, finally in 1992, 204 years later, the High Court handed down its decision in the "Mabo" case claiming Australia was not "Terra Nullius" (N. Parbury, 1999 pg.125).

For most of the history of education the Europeans believed there culture was far more superior to that of the Indigenous people, hence, Aboriginal culture was for a very long time was not seen as a requirement to Australian education.

The Indigenous people are probably the most research people in Australia; however, the information that is taught to our children today does still...