Teacher journal archive (2008-2011)

Article Title

Throwing out baby with the bathwater?


P Shaw


The author recently published a book entitled 'Seven Seasons in Aurukun', which deals with her experiences as a teacher in a remote Aboriginal community. She states that she left the community as a physical and emotional necessity and has not returned. Her book details the social problems of the community and she admits she has no answer for the big questions about remedying social dysfunction in Aboriginal communities. However, she argues that when programs are initiated, then shut down due to 'failure', every new subsequent program discards what has been achieved before, instead of building on whatever success was achieved, no matter how small. She concludes with a question: how can we better support people - local Aboriginal people and ring-ins - who are living and working in communities to deliver sustainable and improving programs? If that could be achieved then there would be no need to completely discard old programs and restart new programs from zero. [Author abstract, ed]

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