Two Educational Imperialists Confess: The Imposition of a World Culture on the Warramungu People
This paper seeks to clarify the experience of two Anglo-Australian teachers, who for the past five years, have been tasked to deliver an alien education to two similar small isolated Indigenous communities. Rockhampton Downs School (Wogayela) and Warrego School now both serve isolated Indigenous communities, 160 km and 50 km from Tennant Creek. They were founded to serve the interests of white pastoral and mining communities, but since the advent of Indigenous land rights, they now serve Indigenous communities. This colonial past continues to make it difficult to achieve a cultural fit. The communities in question represent possibly the only chance for the survival of Warramungu language and culture. The schools are principally creatures of 21st century global culture. The teachers are cultural mercenaries caught in the clash. The schools are required to teach to achieve national benchmarks in literacy and numeracy and follow a mainstream curriculum. There is some pressure from some community members to prepare children for the wider world but both schools face challenges to their relevance.
Keywords: Indigenous Education, First Nation, Indigenous-Global Culture Clash
Dr. Colin Francis Baker
Principal, Warrego School NT
Admin Officer & School Nurse, Warrego School NT