Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members

To ensure there is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice in our structures, the SSTUWA has an active Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee which is charged with the responsibility of advising the Executive on issues pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, educators, Aboriginal education and reconciliation. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee is supported by the SSTUWA women and equity officer. There are also specific positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members on the SSTUWA Executive, AEU Federal Conference and federal committees, including the Yalukit Yulendj Committee.

The AEU Indigenous Activism Strategy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Committee program of action

The AEU and the SSTUWA have various structures to organise with and seek representations from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members. The federal office employs an Aboriginal education officer and convenes a federal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Committee.

The AEU Indigenous Activism Strategy was devised with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Committee as a practical document to help union activists acknowledge past problems and set about rectifying them.

It has three key objectives:

  1. To increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members in our union.
  2. To actively engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across all levels of our union.
  3. To improve understanding of all Australian Education Union members about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, specifically as they relate to education, but also as they relate to general society.

The strategy covers a series of issues – tackling racism, encouraging acceptance, appreciating cultural difference, including Indigenous elements in general curricula and measures to improve Indigenous retention rates and encourage Aboriginal students to pursue further education.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Federal Conference

The AEU Federal office holds an annual national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education conference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members.

What can I do?
  • Acknowledge, value and seek the expertise of Aboriginal staff in Aboriginal education.
  • Support current policy and actions that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
  • Consult and work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members to make changes at the local school level that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
  • Include welcome or acknowledgement to country at meetings.
  • Encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s participation in union committees and forums including the SSTUWA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee.
  • Support the development and use of a Reconciliation Action Plan at your school.
Resources
  • Acknowledgement/Welcome to Country. Click here.
  • Cultural leave for Aboriginal employees
    • Schools: Teachers Award clause 32 – Cultural/Ceremonial Leave. Click here.
    • TAFE: Lecturers’ Agreement clause 45 – Cultural/Ceremonial Leave. Click here.
    • TAFE: Lecturers’ Agreement clause 60 – Attendance at Aboriginal Meetings. Click here.
  • Australian Education Union. Click here.
  • Reconciliation Australia. Click here.
  • Recognise. Click here.
  • Australian Human Rights Commission. Click here.
  • Equal Opportunity Commission WA. Click here.
  • WA Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. Click here.
  • DoE Cultural Standards Framework 2015. Click here.

Updated March 2019