A business faculty, Jindaola and a path to embedding Aboriginal knowledges

Publication Name

Higher Education Research and Development


Much of the literature indicates the importance and the need for the improvement of embedding Indigenous knowledge into the tertiary curriculum. However, not much empirical evidence is available to identify how Indigenous knowledges can be embedded in a sustained and respectful way within the Australian tertiary education sector. This article examines how traditional Aboriginal knowledge holders and staff at a Business Faculty in Australia developed a partnership to embed Aboriginal knowledges and ways of thinking into the university business curricula. As part of our institutional educational development grants program, Jindaola, we used yarning as a way to understand and connect with each other and use an ethnographic case study approach to present our journey. We illustrate how we partnered with local Aboriginal knowledge holders to (1) deliver cultural training to staff members as a means of developing and building Aboriginal cultural awareness before embedding Aboriginal knowledges into the business curricula, (2) embed Aboriginal knowledges into the curriculum inside the classroom grounded with respect, responsibility and reciprocity and (3) embed Aboriginal knowledges outside of the classroom on Country through work-integrated learning opportunities with local Aboriginal organisations. Overall, the sustainability of the partnership is built on connections to the local Aboriginal community and developing an understanding and respect for country, kinship, culture and journey. The partnership journey between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members provided a valuable way to embed Aboriginal ways of thinking into the coursework. We continue our journey by recognising the challenges in relation to how members can sustain the partnership and develop meaningful relationships between the university staff and local Aboriginal knowledge holders.

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