Launceston TAS, Australia

What would it take for every child in LTV to have a positive sense of culture & identity by 2035?

We have no official data in this area. However community has told us that there are many young people who are choosing antisocial and high risk behaviours because they do not have a strong sense of who they are (identity) or where they come from (culture).

Posted by Sharon on the 29th Jun 2015.

The State of Launceston's Children report was published in July 2014, providing a baseline measure of how we are doing. Community consultations occurred from August 2014 to February 2015, and Community Committees in each area (George Town, Beaconsfield, Waverley/St Leonards, Northern Suburbs/Lilydale, Ravenswood) have discussed the data collected.

Now it's over to you. We want to know what it would take for every child to have access to community leaders/Elders or others in their extended family who can help them develop a positive sense of who they are and the spiritual practices that provide resilience and support.

Debbie C - I feel that children need to have a sense of ownership of their environment. There is Value in providing opportunities for children to explore their culture and their identity. I don't know how this can done but I am interested in supporting community activities that support this idea.

Sharon - Just as every child is individual, every family is unique and has its own set of traditions and practices, with different cultural heritages. In the same way, our communities are all different to each other, though there are common things that bind us together. It would be great to be able to celebrate these differences and the similarities together! Maybe street festivals in each area (George Town, Beaconsfield, Waverley/St Leonards, Northern Suburbs/Lilydale, Ravenswood) would be a good way to start?

Debbie C - Sharon, I love the idea of a street parade to celebrate our cultural diversity.

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beetle - What is best practice - there are some great programs that are working toward cultural identity within small localised area. Source what others are doing share - Sheridan is involved in some great work but narrow source of people know, are aware of are part of it.

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LovelyLucy - As the Legana area explodes, I think it is important to make spaces for various faiths to have worship centres. Lots of research indicates that belonging to a faith community is an enormously protective factor for children.

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kmiller - There are many cultures in the LTV area, some of which are catered for and others that aren't. As the co-facilitator for the Port Dalrymple Cultural Arts and Cultural Literacy programs I am very aware of how service provider heavy these programs have been during their inception and ongoing facilitation. Currently groups are divided between boys and girls which means needing both a male and female Elder to guide the learning. My role within the program is as the teacher who understands how to write lesson plans that can be directly assessable with the Australian Curriculum but with cultural therapy/inclusion/identity as core business in conjunction with pure educational outcomes. The ongoing success of programs such as these would not be possible without the collaboration and financial support of Anglicare CfC, The Boat Shed, meenah neenah and Port Dalrymple School.

Sherridan - I think this Cultural Arts program at Port Dalrymple is a model of high quality, high expectations educational programming. I've felt privileged to see first hand how the girls in the class are developing literacy (both cultural literacy, arts literacy and English literacy) through your program, The further effort that you go to in connecting the program to the Australian Curriculum shows the commitment to quality. Such high quality programs do not come for free, but the value of involving qualified artist/s is enormous. Long may this program continue.

TrudiC - I think you've really hit the nail on the head there Katrina - part of the reason that programs such as yours are so successful is because they are funded in a way that allows the staffing model to fit the needs of the students involved, that the staff have expertise, and are able to share skills with the students which they can be proud of. I do not believe you would be achieving the successes that you do without the model that is currently in place.

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Vic - I think our parks need to be updated with BBQ'S areas and toilets and play equipment,very shabby at present .7270

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Vic - Need more footpaths and what is needs updating.It's hard for parents to wheel prams on footpaths and they have to push them on to the road.7270

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Vic - We need secure fencing around play equipment and needs to be updating,maybe some new cleaner soft fall under the equipment too.7270

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Vic - More walking paths and trails, improved roads in most of the township and improved surfaces would beautify the look of the town a bit more.7270

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PDSStaff - What currently works well – Cultural Arts Program, DRUMBEAT, Community/Parent Programs.

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PDSStaff - What currently works well – Having someone available to help students at risk to connect with school and the local environment. We need more of the same.

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PDSStaff - What currently works well – The Cultural programs have enhanced the Australian Curriculum and integrated student learning.

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PDSStaff - What currently works well – Sports, though this needs a greater variety. Careers programs. Social excursions to Art based events.

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PDSStaff - What currently works well – Access to cultural programs, role models, holistic education, small groups and 1:1 support.

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PDSStaff - What is needed? – Greater experiences outside the school/community. More funding. Continued involvement of the Student Networker in ongoing programs. Job creation that does not depend on an external agency – independent. Development of an art scene.

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rftForum - I feel that youth and children need more education around different cultures and what cultures mean to them. I would like to see more programs around Launceston and the Tamar Valley to help bring youth together. I would like to see youth owning these programs and being able to share this with all.

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RavenswoodCommunityM - *Playgroups *Early years programs *Schools

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Free or cheap cultural trips for ALL

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Free/cheap/affordable after school events -sport clubs -youth activities -scouts -music lessons -excursions

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Free infomation nights in Ravenswood about defence force - police - Tafe - Trade - Jo options

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Social excursions

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MichelleR - Making the children feel safe with their identity and loved: NSCC 7248

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MichelleR - Building life skills and enhancing identity to their community: NSCC 7248

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jenniferh - meenah neenah is a Cultural Arts and Mentoring Program, it has proved immensely beneficial to students since it commenced in 2012. This program contains many elements designed to improve self esteem, reduce anti-social behaviour, sense of belonging, personal and cultural safety, and educational and cultural engagement. It targets at risk and vulnerable Aboriginal children aged 6 to12 years,many of whom have been involved in the child protection system, have experienced intergenerational trauma, family violence and engage in high risk behaviour. They are also often disengaged from their culture and from education. meenah neenah has had significant success in addressing these issues and improving student’s engagement with the arts, culture and school. It has also played a role in providing cultural awareness training in the school community and therefore improving cultural safety for all children. Cultural Art (Port Dalrymple School) this program is run in collaboration with Katrina student networker it is a weekly program for Aboriginal girls, which assists in the strengthening of cultural identity and sense of self, through a holistic approach. Each week this group invites women from the community to join them and share in an activity, we also take the program to the Children and Family Centre Georgetown, enabling the girls and broader community members to work together on a collaborative art project/s thanks to Trudi and staff for their support. The class is run like a yarnin circle that encourages and supports the sharing of ideas, knowledge and caring to the wider community. This class also assists in development of fine motor skills through technical processes, communication, problems solving and supports their social, emotional, cultural well being. It has a strong focus on developing leadership skills in girls and provides opportunities for them to mentor younger girls joining the group. Boat shed (Port Dalrymple School) is a weekly program that Uncle Murray in collaboration with James (Chaplin) taking young boys to the Bass ands Flinders Centre to work on creating water craft example canoes, sabots. This provides positive male role models for the boys and instilling positive relationships with Elders, and broader community and encouraging a positive cultural sense of self. This class also assists in development of fine motor skills through technical processes, communication, problems solving and supports their social, emotional, cultural well being.Drumbeat facilitated by Katrina the PDS networker and is sometimes assisted by meenah neenah is building resilience through rhythm, learning to identify rhythm and patterns (positive/negative) through drumbeat workshops, enabling young people to apply drumbeat theory to real life situations. Equestrian assisted learning is facilitated by Katrina at PDS. I have really enjoyed being able to assist in this program, observing how young people negated the set task and how they then learnt to problem solved with no assistance, there are no rules as to how they achieve this other than to complete the task. Sometimes young people tasks are to work collaboratively with another young person. One example of a task is having to lead the horse to the fence, halters and leads are hung on fence however no reference to the use of these in the instructions of the task. Cultural Art camp (PDS) is a 3 day camp with young girls going on country. We have Aunty Patsy coming to welcome us onto Country. She will be taking us to significant cultural sites and will talk about the history of place and the importance of maintaining and respecting these sites and the whole environment. During our time on camp young girls will be learning how the natural environment is a wealth of cultural resources and how these resources were essential to the survival of Tasmanian Aboriginal people. Cultural art (Lilydale) Aboriginal art and culture is the platform used to engage and assist students in there learning and understanding of how identity, country and art are all interconnected. These classes were conducted within principle teacher times so that we could educate mainstream students, while addressing and challenging negative stereotypes. It assists in instilling a sense of positive cultural identity, the flow on of which has also assisted in meenah neenah collaborating in ‘The Avenue of Honour’ public artwork. The Avenue of Honour is a place of reflection that pays homage to our ancestors and celebrates the continuing Tasmanian Aboriginal culture and pays respects to the ANZACS. It has contributed to several young people feeling safe enough to talk about their cultural identity. Gumnuts to Buttons cultural awareness program enables other students to have a greater understanding, sensitivity and empathy towards Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their culture and connection to place. It also addresses and challenges negative stereotypes of Aboriginal people. meenah neenah have co-facilitated this at Port Dalrymple, South Georgetown and Lilydale schools. Mentoring sessions provide weekly culturally sensitive support to young people. These sessions are developed around central themes of cultural identity/place and cultural /social belonging. Sessions are literacy based and hands on, with young people utilising traditional materials (such as kelp, ochre, tea-tree) and contemporary techniques to create artworks and explore issues in the children’s lives.

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