Binung Ma Na Du: Cultural stories and living histories on Wakka Wakka Country

Start date
Research partner(s)
University of Queensland

To effectively teach Wakka Wakka language, schools must have access to high quality local curriculum resources, and these must be made in partnership and under the leadership of traditional owners and historical Elders of Cherbourg.

In the body of Indigenous education literature, the importance of embedding Indigenous knowledges and perspectives into the curriculum has been outlined as critical (Sarra & Shay, 2019). Furthermore, the literature stresses the importance of working collaboratively and in partnership with local Aboriginal communities in responding to local needs, embedding local perspectives and supporting Indigenous students (Bishop et al, 2019). National and State education policy also support these imperatives.

Since 2008 the Australian National Curriculum has included Indigenous histories and cultures as a national cross curriculum priority. In Queensland, the action plan launched in 2019 for advancing Indigenous Education outlines an intent to ‘raise the bar in teaching, learning and partnerships with Indigenous students, their families and communities’ as well as ‘embracing and supporting cultures, identities, language, histories and traditions’.

While the literature and policy domains effectively advocate similar messaging, research on how to implement these objectives to achieve this through co-design is scarce (Shay & Lampert, 2020). The primary objective is to address this gap in the literature whilst producing a practical outcome for the community and partners.

This project aims to:

  1. Research the process and experiences of Indigenous peoples and school staff in developing local curriculum using a co-design approach to develop stories to embed Indigenous knowledges and perspectives into school curriculum (research data).
  2. Develop a series of digital and written stories from Wakka Wakka Country to enhance a Wakka Wakka language teaching program that is being implemented at Murgon State High School (research output and impact). Data generated from documenting the process of co-designing curriculum materials will use ‘collaborative yarning methodology’ developed by Shay (2019).

The perspectives of Indigenous people and school staff will be captured, leading to informed improved policy development and enactment strategies in Indigenous education. The project will produce 12 written and 12 digital stories from Wakka Wakka Country.

These will include cultural, historical and contemporary stories that share cultures and diversities from local Aboriginal peoples to support development of language curriculum Through centring the voices of local Indigenous people to understand the complex set of interactions between communities, schools and policy, and by involving Indigenous people in decision making that affects their lives and communities, it is expected that new knowledges to support policy goals of co-design will be generated. Moreover, through the Indigenous-led process of producing stories to support teaching of locally driven curriculum and a resource for the community, a tangible outcome to demonstrate possible outcomes of these collaborations will be actualised.


There are no listed outputs for this project.