Notre Dame Education students gain a valuable insight into issues faced by young Aboriginals

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 28-10-2009

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



'Welcoming all young people whatever their background and circumstances' was the message given to second year Education students at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus when they were visited by two Aboriginal students from St Joseph's College.

St Joseph’s is a Catholic boy’s college founded by the Marist Brothers. Accompanied by their Boarding Supervisor, Mr Darren Junee, Indigenous students, Ricky Buchanan and Jade Tubnor, shared their stories and spoke about what it meant to be an Aboriginal person.

Mr Dave Keen, lecturer of Human Society and Its Environment at Notre Dame, was the coordinator of the visit. He said that it was very apparent that they are very proud of their homes and their surrounding community.

“Jade talked about several support groups run by the Aboriginal people in his area, his first experience with 'racist comments' during the rugby season and the 'great' opportunities that have come his way since boarding at St Joseph's College,” explained Mr Keen.

“Ricky shared a Dreaming story that had all students totally absorbed. He told of his ancestor who once created several rivers and between each river a new language was created. Both boys didn't like the fact that some boys made fun of the word 'brother' as that word has a much bigger meaning than most people recognise.

“The young men also shared their long term goals; it was encouraging that boys of this age had a vision for their future.”

After the boys' presentation there were many questions from our Notre Dame students which lead to healthy conversation around differences and similarities within the Australian community and implications for future educators.

Mr Keen explained that many students begin teaching without even having spoken or met an Aboriginal person.

“The gathering was a wonderful opportunity for teachers of the future to broaden their perspective of the challenges that many Aboriginal people are faced with.

He was also highly appreciative of Mr Junee providing valuable insights and experiences into the presentation.

Media contact:

Rebecca Palser (02) 8204 4409