Engaging with community in South Australia

YDC staff, PRIME Futures participants and community members gather around fire pit

Participants in the Adelaide PRIME Futures cluster recently enjoyed a special cultural session as part of the fourth round of YuMi Deadly Maths PD workshops.

Young Indigenous students from remote communities in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia come to Wiltja Boarding residential college in Adelaide for their secondary schooling and attend two of the schools involved in this cluster.

For the cultural experience, community elders and family members from the Mimili Community on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in the remote north-west of South Australia were invited to present their insights and cultural links. Everyone gathered around a fire pit to share traditional cooked food and joined in with stories, songs and dance.

Some of the community members were themselves past students from Wiltja Boarding who are part of the Wiltja Malpa (Wiltja friends) group of Anangu families now living in Adelaide who still want to support the college family. They attend the college once a term to meet with the staff and talk about how the college and the students are going. They also keep their ties to the Lands strong by visiting there regularly to see family.

The painting shown below is a traditional style for these women and was painted by Emma Singer from the Mimili Community who is a past student of the college. It represents the coming together of the various groups for this cultural experience.

The PRIME Futures YDM workshop participants were inspired by the opportunity to experience these traditional cultural practices. Engaging with the local community is an important component of the YuMi Deadly Maths approach. It enables teachers to gain insights into their students’ cultural backgrounds and helps with embedding Indigenous perspectives in the classroom. Thanks to the staff of Wiltja Boarding who made this experience possible.


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