The College’s mission is to offer education and training programs and additional services to Indigenous people for the benefit of the individual, the community and the nation. The programs and services are comprehensive, accessible, flexible and community-centred in order to enhance the development of Indigenous community members.
The College has a College Elders Council who revive and promote our Indigenous culture through story telling and through participation in decision making, future planning and direction of the College through staff and management meetings.
Our College Elders are involved in activities such as Elders Workshops and guest speaking to students of accredited subjects ie: developing an Indigenous perspective, understanding Indigenous issues, bush foods, bush medicines, health and the ageing process.
The Elders, through their involvement, have shown approval for the College itself.
Studying and learning is encouraged by the Elders which gives the College credibility.
Development of Programs and Outstanding Quality
Booroongen Djugun develops and consolidates its role as a national training centre by continuing to write its own courses, develop national models and adapt models developed elsewhere for use by Indigenous people.
The Board of Directors through regular consultation with their community, recognise the need to develop courses of relevance to the Indigenous community. The need for this is clearly demonstrated in the College’s Business Plan.
The College provides an environment that reflects the culture of the learners. Training is based on Indigenous traditions and customs. The cultural role ensures values, traditions, and customs are an integral part of the training experience. Aboriginal English is recognised and acknowledged as the primary language for some of our people.
Booroongen Djugun College’s training programs are designed to enable Indigenous adults to function within the employment sphere, in their own communities, and in the wider community. The College operates a centre-based service at our Kempsey site, along with outreach programs (anywhere in New South Wales), and distance education.
Education Role: Achieve personal goals, Develop industry skills, Develop a career path
Political/Civic role: Self empowerment and empowerment of others, Knowledge and skill attainment aimed at social change
Cultural role: Focuses on traditions and customs, Addresses spiritual beliefs and practices, Highlights differences in perception and comprehension, Fosters cultural traits
The major concern of the College is to ensure that Indigenous education and training programs are coming via an Indigenous perspective: how they are involved, what processes are in place, and with what effectiveness.
College management consults the College Elders Council to identify the needs and expectations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The College has improved access to courses with Indigenous content. The College ensures maintenance of a non-racist environment. Management and staff are members of external committees to keep abreast of the latest information and to advance the services of the College.
Strategies in place to improve access for Indigenous adults and VET-in-School students:
- Improve College atmosphere: staff are encouraged to ‘nurture’ and support students
- Indigenous role models: College has majority of Indigenous staff
- Sense of ownership: students feel a sense of belonging, feel their input into College matters is acknowledged and valued
- Indigenous art throughout the College helps define it’s culture
- Outreach programs: the College has adopted the original concept of a
university/college as a body of learners. With this in mind the College uses a community-model in which the trainer leaves the confines of the institution and takes the learning to the people.
- Increased number and type of courses available: College is community-driven, Government and industry driven.
- Provision of courses via a range of options including in-class, self-paced, distance education, outreach, and workplace training.
- Participation in Indigenous Career Days, Expos, etc: marketing of the College and it’s Services
- Liaison with Indigenous organisations and communities: ensuring the College meets the needs of the community it serves.
The College delivers a range of courses from Certificate I to Diploma. The College’s main courses have been developed using national training packages. The courses have been especially developed to enable the curriculum to be used as in-class, self-paced, and as distance education. Training delivered by the College is government accredited and nationally recognised.
The College has implemented various forms of Information Technology and student support mechanisms to support programs offered anywhere in the country. Information Technology is in use at the College and includes a Web Page, courses on CD-Roms, Free call 1800-telephone number, facsimile, and email services.
Innovative thinking at all levels is encouraged and valued. Innovative approaches to the provision of training at the College has developed over a period of time:
- A shared vision by management, staff and students; An emphasis on the Indigenous methodology of learning, that is audio, visual, demonstration, observation, hands-on, role play, etc
- Positive self-identity through cultural activities and achievement of industry skills.
- Early achievement of industry skills as positive reinforcement students ‘can do it’.
- Cultural content relevant to the learner, shared values and beliefs
- Ownership of the College, staff and students empowered to make decisions.
- Facilitated learning (dual roles of both trainer and student)
- Input from Indigenous Elders and community members, a community College in every sense
- Study methods learnt are transferable to other systems eg VET-in-Schools back into education system.
- College positively reinforces a culture of learning with staff and students.
Students in Booroongen Djugun College are potential labour market participants. Knowledge is taught in harmony with Indigenous peoples cultural and social needs. Training at our College is culturally appropriate, based on Indigenous traditions and customs, incorporating the spiritual beliefs and practices of Indigenous people, and seeking integration between traditional and mainstream approaches.
The College encourages a broadened base of learning that encompasses not only the educational objectives, but objectives based on the social and political issues of the local areas.
The College sees community-based Indigenous education and training as part of the overall community structure. Many factors will have, and continue to have, an impact on whether or not a program is successful. Input by students, the community, Indigenous organisations, and other interest groups is encouraged, welcomed, and acknowledged.
There are many stakeholders who make up the components of the College’s education and training, these include:
- the learners
- the trainers
- the Indigenous community
- the tutors
- Indigenous political leaders
- College management and staff
- the State Government
- the Australian Government
- Indigenous organisations
- College Elders Council
At our College an Indigenous person’s value system and cultural traits are acknowledged and respected.
Important cultural aspects that are considered include:
- Indigenous English
- extended families
- body language
- group orientation
- past/present orientation
- learning differences
- differing values.
The College’s aim is to develop and consolidate its role as a national training centre. The College will pursue this aim by continuing to write its own courses; by developing national models; by using, testing, and adapting models developed elsewhere and rewriting them for use by our Indigenous people.
The College has developed linkages and supportive arrangements with a wide range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous bodies including government agencies, health services, training providers, and professional associations and community organisations. The College maintains an ongoing and extensive consultation network, especially with many local Indigenous communities and Indigenous organisations.
Booroongen Djugun College has contractual obligations with staff regarding their commitment to continuous learning and personal development.
The College ensures Indigenous staff are adequately supported in completing accredited industry training and the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. When qualified, staff are able to, at times, carry out the role of a trainer. This action ensures that College staff have a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of trainers, and the needs and expectations of our students.