Learning Indigenous history through ‘Story Time’ - Education Matters Magazine

Learning Indigenous history through ‘Story Time’

In the lead-up to NAIDOC Week 2019, Story Box Library will release the latest video in its Indigenous Story Time series, which aims to assist students in developing a greater understanding of different cultures, languages and beliefs.

A visual storytelling subscription service for schools, libraries and parents that celebrates Australian literature read aloud by some of the nation’s best storytellers, Story Box Library developed Indigenous Story Time as part of its commitment to ensuring the beliefs, cultures, experiences and histories of First Nation peoples were represented in their work.

First launched in NAIDOC Week 2018, this initiative was partly funded by the Australian Council for the Arts. Some of the storytellers featured in the series include Trevor Jamieson, Aunty Joy Murphy, Richard Green and Kamil Ellis.

Stolen Girl by Trina Saffiotti (read by Anita Heiss) will be the 19th release, in time for this year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations, which runs from 7-14 July. The 20th story, Alfie’s Search for Destiny by David Hardy (read by Dan Sultan) will follow in August 2019.

Held annually, NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

According to Story Box Library, although the current school curriculum provides the opportunity to reconfigure Australia’s limited understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders history, culture and perspectives, but a student’s access to this information depends largely on the commitment and enthusiasm of the individual school, principal and teacher.

For non-Indigenous educators who feel they lack the knowledge and confidence to teach these topics, Education Consultant at Story Box Library, Jackie Small said consultancy was key.

“While the fear comes from a good place – out of respect for our First Nations peoples – to not teach to this area due to fear would be a disservice to our Indigenous communities and to all Australian children,” she said.

“On the contrary, the key to developing learning programs around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures is consultancy and allowing Australia’s First Peoples to contribute to the learnings happening in our classrooms to ensure that an accurate and shared history is formed.”