An Aboriginal studies resource centre for the A.C.T.

  • Colin Bourke

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    The aim of this thesis is to provide a framework, background material and argument for the A.C.T. Aboriginal community and other Aboriginal educational and cultural groups to develop submissions seeking funds for Aboriginal Studies Resource Centres. The ACT Aboriginal Education Consultative Group has given the thesis a definite focus and underlined the importance of gaining Aboriginal, systemic and political support. The study includes both theoretical and empirical components and practical suggestions as to the organisation and activities of such a centre. The early part of the study is devoted to providing background to an Aboriginal Studies Resource Centre, it also covers the formation and development of the A.C.T. Aboriginal Education Consultative Group. Following the outlining of the aims and objectives of such a centre, theoretical issues concerned with selection and organisation of centre materials, the need for interpretation of objectives and the understanding of values together with curriculum implications and learning activities of an Aboriginal studies resource centre are discussed. Two major thrusts in these discussions are that Aboriginal people must be involved and the question of values must be considered because human behaviour depends on values, and behavioural change is regarded as one of the main measures of success. It is intended that while an Aboriginal Studies resource centre should concentrate on its local area, it should draw materials from other parts of Australia and the world, so that the local area can be placed in context. It is envisaged that the materials would come from a wide range of disciplines. The A.C.T. Centre will endeavour to increase the comprehension of A.C.T. Aborigines and non- Aborigines in matters Aboriginal, and will follow a philosophy which holds that learning is the discovery of meaning or understanding. A range of learning activities, including hands on experiences are outlined. The functions of the Centre are described and the involvement of Aborigines and non- Aborigines at all levels is discussed. Evaluation of the Centre’s success or otherwise will take cognisance of its objectives and involve a range of outcomes. It is acknowledged that success will be difficult to measure because of different amounts of student time spent at the Centre and teacher and student expectations. The thesis concludes that Aboriginal studies has not achieved its rightful place in Australian education and that an Aboriginal Studies Resource Centre would provide the material and human resources required for Aboriginal studies to take its proper place in Australian education.
    Date of Award1987
    Original languageEnglish

    Cite this