Fraser Coast Chronicle

Learn indigenous culture, language

HISTORY was made on the Fraser Coast yesterday when the local Butchulla people, the Hervey Bay RSL and the Chronicle cemented a unique partnership to produce the nation’s first ever indigenous language and culture media series – for the third successive year.

The news of the award-winning project came on the same day the Federal Government rolled out its controversial new national history, science and culture curriculums – both set to include significant Aboriginal content for up to Year 10.

“We just had to get behind this,” RSL sub-branch president Phil Cannane said.

“Our club management committee agreed right across the board that the way to this region and this nation’s future are through educating our young.

“That is what the Chronicle’s landmark series, Let’s Learn Butchulla: Hands in Time, Journeying Together did in 2008 and again in 2009.

“We were a small sponsor in 2008 but in 2010 we have thrown our entire weight behind the project because we believe in the future of young people and here is a proven way of uniting our school kids towards better adult lives.”

Butchulla elder Aunty Frances Gala, who has spent a lifetime creating jobs and fighting for equality for her people, said she was “just so thrilled” at the news the series would feature in the Chronicle this year.

“On the very day the nation thankfully dumps its black armband approach to teaching our past, our local RSL leads Australia in getting behind a project like this.

“It is both moving and inspiring.”

Chronicle editor Peter Chapman said the project’s 2008 and 2009 wins in the prestigious United Nations Association Media Peace awards proved that the Chronicle was on the “only path” to bring indigenous and non-indigenous school students together.

“We have just had the second year of Prime Minister Rudd’s Sorry Day and here it is now being included in the new national history curriculum along with language and culture.

“The Chronicle is immensely proud of this remarkable project and welcomes the Korrawinga Aboriginal Corporation as our official hosts and thanks the Hervey Bay RSL as our sponsor for 2010.”

This year the series will publish weekly for the two middle school terms and the newspapers will go into primary and high schools across the region.

Mr Chapman said the newspaper was also looking at the possibility of running language and culture workshops and a school-based art contest.

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