Staff visit Roelands Mission
As part of Curtin University’s Indigenous Cultural Capabilities Framework’s development program, the PVC Executive and all Heads of School participated in an on-country visit. The visit to the former Roelands Mission near Collie, now known as Roelands Village, was led by Elder in Residence, Associate Professor Simon Forrest.
Roelands was established in 1941 as a non-denominational mission for children. The group learnt about the mission’s history, which includes housing children who were forcibly taken from their families: members of the Stolen Generation.
Approximately 500 children spent time at Roelands before it closed in 1975. The mission is now managed by Woolkabunning Kiaka Inc., a group of former mission residents, who run educational and healing programmes on the site.
In 2016, Associate Professor Forrest said the Indigenous Cultural Capabilities Framework was an opportunity for staff to further develop their knowledge and understanding of Australian history, and the current issues relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“The Framework is aimed at academic staff and how they might introduce Aboriginal aspects, culture and principles into their curriculum,” Associate Professor Forrest said.
Ms Cheryl Davis, Director Indigenous Engagement, said the on-country visit was a valuable experience for staff, who were able to build upon their knowledge of Indigenous history, and will be able to use their experience on-country to inform their understanding of and interactions with Indigenous students.