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Voices of Aboriginal young people inspire reconciliation resource

All Western Australian public schools will receive a school reconciliation resource inspired by the views of Aboriginal children and young people who took part in the Commissioner’s recent consultation.

The Commissioner Colin Pettit said one of the themes that arose from the consultation was Aboriginal children and young people’s experiences with racism, their hope for better understanding about their culture, and for reconciliation.

“We wanted to respond to these views and concerns, and one of the ways we decided to act was to link with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs’ PALS program that encourages WA schools and students to develop projects that promote reconciliation in their community,” the Commissioner said.

“The reconciliation resource we have added to the PALS program includes the publication This Is Me, which showcases 12 everyday but inspiring Aboriginal young people, and a list of ways students and schools can use these stories to explore and share aspects of everyone’s cultural background.

“By encouraging schools to undertake these reconciliation activities, my hope is that we can begin to address some of the issues Aboriginal children and young people raised in the consultation.”

In 2015, 367 schools from across Western Australia coordinated 422 PALS projects that aimed to increase student understanding of Aboriginal culture.

The teacher resource includes 13 activities categorised under the PALS themes of Student Engagement and Community Participation, Arts and Culture, Aboriginal Language and History, and Health and Wellbeing.