RAP Implementation Committee Update 15/10/19


Recently I was fortunate enough to visit and engage with the most amazing community in Kununurra and I wanted to share how this school community integrates country and culture into their curriculum.   I was really interested in their approach as I have two primary school aged children myself. 

The purpose for visiting Kununurra was for a nature-based master plan for the local catholic primary school, St Joseph’s. The school is part of Miriwoong country.  St Joseph’s has a 60% aboriginal student demographic with a total of 120 students altogether from Kindy to Year 6.  With such a high percentage of indigenous students the school has embraced the Miriwoong Language Centre’s vision:

“Together, we come to the place to keep Miriwoong alive by capturing, sharing and nurturing our language and culture. Together, we build a strong, proud and respectful community where our people have a sense of who they are and the land to which they belong.” (http://mirima.org.au/)

The curriculum includes the integration of the Miriwoong Language Nest program, which creates an immersive environment which exposes young children to new language experiences. The program is based on a model developed by the Maori in New Zealand, the Miriwoong Language Nest is one of the first to operate for Indigenous languages in Australia. It uses immersion techniques to enable young children to learn Miriwoong.

Through the St Joseph’s engagement process for the nature-based master plan a number of additional educational programs associated with the Miriwoong Language Centre and Waringarri Art’s Centre were identified by key members of the Miriwoong community including a seed collection and bush tucker garden, junior ranger programs and collaborative art programs with students.  

The combination of the language nest program and the potential new programs will create the most amazing integration of culture and country within the school environment. This whole process has inspired me to find better ways for my local primary school to embed culture and country into their curriculum.

Nicky Croudace

RAP Implementation Committee Update 11/09/19



Today marks the release of the AILA protocol for Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country document. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to not only implore you to read the 3 page document but give you some additional information and resources relevant to those of us that live on Whadjuk Noongar boodja.


What is the difference between a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of Country?

A Welcome to Country is undertaken by an Elder or Traditional Owner with permission to represent the Traditional Custodians. As opposed to an Acknowledgment of Country which is undertaken by anyone else. Both Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country must always occur at the start of a formal event or meeting, to pay respect and create an increasing awareness and recognition of Traditional Custodians and culture. For additional information on Noongar Welcome to Country Protocols refer to the document by SWALSC.


These protocols are something that Perth residents should be proud of. With Australia’s assumed first contemporary Welcome to Country performed in Perth in 1976 by Richard Walley OAM and Ernie Dingo. Read more here.

After reading the AILA protocol, we hope you consider starting your meetings with an Acknowledgment of Country. Or add to your email signature or integrate into written publications.


Tilly Caddy

RAP Implementation Committee Update 14/08/19


How great was it to see all the amazing AILA WA projects displayed across the many Aboriginal countries at the recent AILA WA awards?!  It is certainly good to have a visual reminder of the many Aboriginal nations we work across in our profession.  Having our awards, and a majority of our work on the lands of the Wadjuk people it was wonderful that we had Karen Jacobs, Wadjuk Traditional Owner,  Welcome us to Country.  Hearing her speak about her experience running a landscape business as an Aboriginal women in WA was one of the highlights of the night.

The RAP team are continuing to implement our WA actions beyond the awards and Naidoc week.  We have reached out to most WA firms to seek input on where you stand with your own RAP or how your business may work with the AILA RAP to continue to build  positive relationships between Indigenous people and the landscape architecture profession.  We will continue to touch base with individual companies to strengthen opportunities to implement the RAP, however if you would like to hear from us sooner, or get involved, please email wa@aila.org.au to receive our recent minutes and an invite to our next meeting.


Shea Hatch

RAP Committee Update - 17/07/19


Hope you all managed to get along to some NAIDOC events last week, but what other opportunities are there to engage with Aboriginal culture the rest of the year?

  • The Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre (WACC) in Fremantle run classes and courses all year round themed by the Noongar seasons, Makuru, Djilba, Kambarang, Birak, Bunuru and Djeran.These include Noongar storytelling, art workshops and language classes.https://www.facebook.com/Walyalup/
  • Curtin University offers a Noongar Language and Culture course online.This comes highly recommended from RAP committee member Tilly Caddy! https://www.edx.org/course/noongar-language-and-culture-0
  • The Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) is a great resource for finding tours and other Aboriginal programs and businesses.https://waitoc.com/
  • Read ‘Dark Emu. Black seeds: agriculture or accident’ by Bruce Pascoe.Or read the kids in your life ‘Young Dark Emu’.Pascoe challenges the colonial myth of the hunter gatherer and takes an in depth look at Aboriginal land management practices.
  • Attend Social Impact Festival 2019:Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Towards a Just and Sustainable Society.Held this week at UWA and for the first time has been designed and led by Aboriginal leaders.https://socialimpactfestival.org/
  • Read this great article by National NAIDOC committee member Shannan Dodson ‘8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Be a Better Indigenous Ally. https://10daily.com.au/views/a190712rkzuj/8-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-be-a-better-indigenous-ally-20190712

 The RAP implementation committee and AILA WA are working towards offering more cultural CPD events for members throughout the year, so watch this space!  If you know of a great resource or event you think members would be interested in, let us know.

Rasheen Lee

AILA WA RAP Implementation Committee