Program diary and outcomes

The design task

Armed with data from the first round of consultations, we have begun to design this program for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.  In designing an education strategy , we need to document what a program might be about, who will do it and how it might be done.

We see three phases for Sea Country Guardians:

Design Phase – using data from consultations to design activities collaboratively with communities.

Growth Phase- extending activities within communities and to other communities, refining trial activities and developing new activities to build an activity bank that will be the core of Sea Country Guardians.

Mature Phase - where communities begin to design activities independently of the GBRMPA, but draw on the GBRMPA’s support to implement programs.

A framework for an educational strategy needs to guide decision making about the types of activities that will be designed or chosen under the Sea Country Guardians banner. In a sense these represent the qualities of projects.

The Education Strategy needs to scope the content of the program. We have drawn on the data collected to elicit 8 messages from communities about what they want young people to learn. When selecting actvities, they need to be reviewed to see if they address the knowledge elders want young people to learn. In some ways, these "messages" are a set of values to underpin what young people do on country while learning. In other ways, they are the core content of what needs to be learned. For many, blending long-time Indigenous knowledge with new modern envirnmental knowledge adds meaning and importance to these messages which form the core of Sea Country Guardians. Comment on the messages and talk to Michelle and Paul about what you think.

We learned that when young people and their elders, family and traditional owners work together doing things on country, learning will occur as respect is built and young people show how they vlaue country. Our education strategy needs to identify the qualities of activities that will enable learning andconnection to country.

The outcomes of consultations shape how we proceed next. We learned valuable ideas by listening to what people told us and these outcomes can direct how we now proceed to the design of activities.

We found that three types of activities are emerging to help young people learn.

  • Activities for families and community groups
  • Activities for communnities to lead and for schools to support
  • Activities for schools

The data revealed that schools programs may not be seen as complementing Indigenous demands for the education of their children. People believe the focus on Naplan and other "curriculum" isolates learning from the context of community lifestyles. Sea Country Guardians can address the imbalance, and can provide a model for addressing how to embed Indigenous Learning into Science and language as offered by the new Australian Curriculum.  There is much work to do.

Other Project Diary resources

Consultation Outcomes reported to GBRMPA at the midway point

Messages to underpin the design of a Sea Country program

Who is the target audience for a Sea Country Education program?

How to select activities for the program as it develops

Activities suggested by elders and Traditional Owners by the midway point of the project

The final suite of activities