Tag Archives: APY Lands

Schooling changes on the Lands

I’m not really prepared to write a blog post on this, but seeing as it’s now hit the press, it’s worth putting up. In terms of APY press coverage, this is likely to get quite a bit I’d imagined.

The Australian published this article today re: proposed changes to school terms. The SA government is proposing that for the APY Lands, schooling will be conducted over 48 weeks.

ABC online also published an article today on the proposed changes.

The Paper Tracker radio show conducted an interview with Peter Chislett, the government consultant for the change.

They’ve also conducted an interview with Makinti Minutjukur and Katrina Tjitayi – prominent members of the Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Education Committee.



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Ex-Principal interviewed re: Lands

I’m trying to get my act together and blog more regularly. But it’s hard, ok? And a lot of thought has to go into what’s said.

That’s why this link is interesting. Very rarely do people hear an inside experience of where I live and work – especially one that so candidly states some of the challenges.

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April 22, 2013 · 4:05 pm

After seeing a photo today from someone who lives in a town further West on the APY Lands, I realised that somehow I’m going to have to get over my fear of snakes.

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November 21, 2011 · 10:59 am

Chris Garner – Tedx Presentation

The below video is an interesting presentation that Chris Garner gave at TedxDarwin 2011. The core focus of his talk is around making content relevant to individual experience and the effect this has had on outcomes for the Indigenous students at his school. I find it really surprising that it’s taken this long for Australians to be talking about making content relevant. I would imagine that it would see success with non-Indigenous students as well. Either way, it’s an interesting presentation and food for thought.

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Pre Lands Update

Things are gearing up. I finished my final placement in Melbourne this week. I really enjoyed my time at the school, but still cannot imagine myself working in a mainstream secondary environment now, if ever. I did prefer working in a lower socio-economic school though. The kids seemed more vibrant to me – more challenging, more interesting, more prepared to give things a go without fear of failure. And more willing to tell you where to go if they weren’t interested. I like that anti-authoritarian spirit.

I was in Adelaide a couple of weeks back tying up the loose ends for registration. Navigating different states’ Departments is difficult and frustrating. But finally I have my First Aid certificate, my Mandatory Notification certificate and every other document that I need to send in. All I have to do now is send it in…

I am heading to the town at the end of November for a week or so. It will my first time meeting the other teachers and staff at the school and the guys that I’m going to be working with. Am I actually ready for this next step? Am I going to be able to teach on the Lands properly? Do I have the imagination – the confidence – the desire – the strength? The ability to listen?

I’d like to chat to a mate who has recently begun at another town on the Lands. I wonder how he is going. He’s internet-less, though, from what I hear.

Not long now. Two weeks left of university. Eek.

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Pre-Lands Introduction and lack of About page

If anyone stumbles on this page now, here’s the deal:

I’m about to move out to the desert, to the Australian outback, to take my first post as a teacher (for real). I’m originally of Adelaide, Australia, currently live in Melbourne, Australia and have previously lived in Madrid, Spain and London, UK. I’ve been a musician, a bureaucrat, a retail monkey, a call centre monkey, a McDonald’s monkey, a pseudo-music journalist (read – I reviewed gigs for free and the occasional free CD), an ESL teacher, a bartender in previous incarnations. I speak Spanish and English, one much better than the other. I know a handful of words in German and Pitjantjatjara. I studied the history of anarchism or more specifically the Spanish Civil War and once had dreams of being a dusty old anarchic professor. All of these roads have led me to here, to this point.

In three months, I graduate from a Masters of Teaching (fingers crossed I pass). While undertaking the course, I was placed at three very different schools – a wealthy, all-girls school, an Aboriginal school in the desert and a low socio-economic, co-ed. I’ve accepted a position next year in a tiny little town in South Australia in the middle of the APY Lands. The APY Lands are a large Aboriginal local government area in remote North West South Australia. They are the lands of the Pitjantjatjara and Yakunytjatjara people – the Anangu. The map below gives some idea of where the APY Lands are.

This is going to be the blog of this experience.


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