Petition to end racism goes to Parliament - Education Matters Magazine
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Petition to end racism goes to Parliament

Australian children want to learn First Nations words more than foreign languages survey reveals

A petition to end racism through Aboriginal history classes in primary and secondary education has been taken to the Australian Parliament.

Musician and Yorta Yorta and Gunditjmara man Isaiah Firebrace took the petition, which has garnered 290,000 signatures, to parliament next week.

The petition aims to have compulsory Aboriginal history as part of the school curriculum to teach students about the culture of the world’s oldest civilisation.

Firebrace believes Australia needs the true history of Australia and its First Nations people taught in schools across the country.

Labor’s Shadow Minister for Education Tanya Plibersek received Firebrace’s petition in front of Parliament House, together with Labor MPs Graham Perrett and Linda Burney.

Afterwards, Firebrace provided a special performance where he sang the national anthem in language and English.

Firebrace said change starts with education.

“We need the true history of Australia and its First Nations people being taught in Aussie schools,” he said.

“Not only to keep the culture alive, but to provide better understanding, recognition, relationships, and respect to Australia’s First Nations people.”

Teaching Aboriginal history classes will bring Australians together, Firebrace added.

“Educating our country on our culture gives First Nations people value and the respect we deserve,” he said.

“We need more education around Aboriginal history and cultures, and what my people have been through.” Australia Country Director Nic Holas said he welcomed the petition.

“It’s heartening to see more than 288,000 Australians sign petitions calling for an authentic history of Australia to be taught in schools,” Holas said.

“We’re so proud to support Isaiah with his petition as he uses his platform to bring people together with this urgent issue.”

Firebrace, who has won X-Factor, also represented Australia at Eurovision and toured the country as a First Nations pop sensation.

When not performing, Firebrace travels to regional communities providing music workshops to Australian school children.

The workshops helped him understand the importance of teaching Aboriginal history in schools.

For information on the petition, click here.

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