NIYEC is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led organisation that brings together a diverse coalition of young mob from different Indigenous Nations, experiences and passions, who all share a commitment for good, quality education. NIYEC working for an education of our own design founded on equity and sovereignty, governed by our nations and grounded in action of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.
We are driven by an intergenerational vision; to build on the work of our Old People, and to plant the seed of an equitable and quality education ecosystem for future generations. Key to our work is collaboration. We work at the ground level ensuring that learning is contextualised to the landscape, history, and aspirations of the community, while also pulling systemic and structural levers of change that tackle education inequity, across sectors, at regional, state and national levels
Hayley McQuire is a proud Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman from Rockhampton, Central Queensland and a passionate advocate for Indigenous social justice and First Nations lead education. Hayley worked with young people around the world to advocate for education rights through the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative. She is the co-founder and National Coordinator of the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition and Co-Chair of Learning Creates Australia. Hayley has a background in youth advocacy and international education development, having served as a member of the Youth Advocacy Group for the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative to support young people around the world to advocate for their rights to education, and has worked with national education coalitions to advocate for education rights and policy in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
Renee Phillips is a Saibai woman from Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait) with ancestral connections to Kairuku-Hiri district in Papua New Guinea. She is a trained Science and Maths high school teacher and a co-founding member of the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition (NIYEC). She is currently working as a Primary Educator as well as a Community Development officer at Children’s Ground on Arrernte country
Samara is an Awabakal woman of Worimi and Biripi descent. Samara leads curriculum development for the Aurora High School program and has a background in law and human rights. She previously worked at the NSW Department of Education developing and managing programs to enhance early childhood education outcomes for Aboriginal children and families. Samara holds a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws from UNSW and a Masters in Understanding and Securing Human Rights from the University of London.
Kaytlin Kelly is a Tjuparn woman from Tjwarl country as well as a Ballardong Nyoongar woman on her mother’s side. She is also a Willman and Minang from the south-west region of Western Australia on her father’s side.
She is studying a Bachelor of Education(Primary) and is a co-founding member of the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition (NIYEC).
Nicola is a proud Muriwarrii Aboriginal Woman who is passionate about Education, Health and Wellbeing. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion and is completing a Masters of Public Health with a specialisation in Chronic Disease Prevention. Nicola is Co-Founder and Director of the National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition.
In My Blood It Runs film and impact team are proud supporters of the #LearnOurTruth campaign led by NIYEC and with Be. One of the core campaign goals, derived from Dujuan and his Arrernte and Garrwa families in the Northern Territory, is to make Australian schools culturally safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Our team is made up of those onscreen; Dujuan Hoosan, Carol Turner, Megan Hoosan, James Mawson, Margaret Anderson; our film Advisors; William Tilmouth, MK Turner, Jane Vadiveloo, Amelia Turner and Mrs. Abbott and the Impact Team; Alex Kelly, Maya Newell, Lisa Sherrard, Rachel Edwardson, Georgia Quinn.
The purpose of education since British colonisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples has been about assimilation where histories, language and culture was deliberately suppressed and prohibited. This historical legacy requires direct and concerted action to overcome. We must campaign and work together to correct this course.
While there is some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history in the National Curriculum, as well as overarching cross-curriculum priorities to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture, it is not always mandatory and is heavily reliant on individual teachers to confidently bring into the classroom.
History needs to be prioritised by both students, parents and community because it supports their active citizenship and understanding of the world. The Victorian History Teachers Association states that history is not given the same priority or class time as STEM subjects or English.
Teachers need more opportunities to learn the fundamentals of teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and perspective both within pre-service teacher training and with ongoing professional development.
We are calling on students, community members, educators and school leaders to join us in pushing for all young people to Learn Our Truth. This campaign is about:
Students have agency in their learning journey. We are asking you to call on your school, educators and community to learn the truer version of history that includes and prioritises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, both what’s in the curriculum and your local community.
Principals, headteachers, educators, Aboriginal education officers hold an incredible amount of responsibility to work closely with their communities and to ensure every young person has the best quality education. From listening to young mob around the continent and importantly learning true history. We know that Principals and School Leaders have an incredible influence in changing school culture, making Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history a priority and supporting their educators to feel confident and supported in embedding it in the classroom.
Students and community members have an active role in owning their local history and narrative. We are calling on communities to acknowledge, value and respect the stories of the land and the local Indigenous Nation who has cared for that country since time immemorial
The Learn Our Truth campaign is focused on centring the voices and experiences of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in calling for our true history to be learnt in schools. The importance of learning true history in school has been a key issue since NIYEC’s foundation in 2016, and for the past two years NIYEC has engaged young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around the continent to inform the Learn Our Truth campaign messaging and call to action.
The primary goal of the campaign is to engage Principals and School leaders to take the pledge to teach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, as well as the full reality of the actions taken by settlers that have has huge impacts on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
The campaign seeks to develop resources and materials to also support student agency within schools so that students can be a part of calling for action to Learn Our Truth, and to highlight the importance of learning the local history of where we all live.
The Australian public needs to understand our full history so that we can have a public dialogue and plan and discuss a future for this continent from a position of common ground with a true and accurate understanding of the past events that have shaped and continue to shape our society. 63% of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were surveyed by NIYEC reported that their history lessons were focussed on the time after Cook arrived. Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported that as a result of this they felt excluded, invisible and not valued as the oldest living culture in the world.
All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people deserve to be taught their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history so that they are all proud and empowered. All young people deserve to be taught Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History so that our future society can work together from a position of common ground, and values the strength, cultures and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
The purpose of education since British colonisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples has been about assimilation where histories, language and culture was deliberately suppressed and prohibited. While there is some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history in the National Curriculum, as well as overarching cross-curriculum priorities to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, it is not always mandatory and is heavily reliant on individual teachers to confidently bring into the classroom. Teachers often do not feel confident in teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories as they are not provided with adequate teacher training (university level) nor ongoing professional development in being able to teach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories. These reasons but not restrictive are why we need direct and concerted action to overcome. We must campaign and work together to correct this course.
You can find out more about the Australian National History Curriculum by visiting the National Curriculum Website. You can find the history curriculum for Foundation to 10 under the F-10 Curriculum tab then the Humanities and Social Sciences subtab. There it will direct you to the content descriptors for Foundation to 10. You can also find the Year 11 and 12 History Curriculum on the National Curriculum website under Senior Secondary Curriculum but please note that each state and territory have their own senior curriculum standards and that can be found by searching the state or territory coupled with ‘senior secondary curriculum’ eg ‘Queensland senior secondary curriculum’.
NIYEC is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led organisation that brings together a diverse coalition of young mob from different Indigenous Nations, experiences and passions, but who share a commitment for good, quality education. They are working for an education that is First Nations owned and designed and is founded on equity and sovereignty, governed by nations and grounded in action of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. A key aspect of NIYEC is that they are collaborative, building the visions of their older people, working and supporting First Nation youth and to move towards a more equitable and quality education ecosystem for future First Nations generations.
In My Blood It Runs is an observational feature documentary following 10-yr-old Arrernte Aboriginal boy Dujuan as he grows up in Alice Springs, Australia. In My Blood It Runs was shot in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Sandy Bore Homeland and Borroloola Community, Northern Territory, Australia over three and a half years. You can find out more and watch the film on the In My Blood it Runs website.
NIYEC, In My Blood It Runs and Be. all have websites, facebook and instagram pages if you simply type in their names in the search engine, facebook or instagram.
You can donate to the ongoing work of LearnOurTruth by donating to the chuffed campaign which can be found on the LearnOurTruth website. Your donation will contribute to the ongoing management of the campaign.
You can support the Learn Our Truth campaign by signing a personal commitment to learn the true history, which you can see on the banner in store. You can also donate to the chuffed campaign for the ongoing work of the Learn Our Truth campaign. You can also help support and promote the principal and school leader pledge for your local school. The pledge is for principals and school leaders to commit to ensuring that First Nations histories are taught in their schools. Principals and school leaders have a huge influence on school culture and what is prioritised, so therefore, they can ensure that young people within their school community are learning the true history of this country so that we can work towards common ground.
You can visit the LearnOurTruth website to find out more under the ‘Take Action’ tab.
You can follow the campaign and keep updated by heading over to the LearnOurTruth website, you can also follow National Indigenous Youth Education Coalition (NIYEC), In My Blood It Runs and BE. social media platforms.
The Learn Our Truth campaign has facebook and instagram. The campaign will also be highlighted on the NIYEC facebook and instagram page, alongside In My Blood It Runs and Be. socials.
This history of this country did not start when Cook arrived, we need to acknowledge that we live and walk alongside the oldest continuous culture in the world. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders existed and lived in Australia for 60,000 years. Their sophisticated culture needs to be learned and respected as they have been taught to learn the history of British settlement. The history of this country goes far beyond 230 years. The true nature of colonisation needs to be learnt, we know that only one narrative is being told in the classrooms that Cook founded this land and was to be taken, that there were ‘friendly relations’ with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, when really there were massacres, purpose smallpox infections, torture, slavery, laws that allowed forced removal of children or on-site shooting of Aboriginal people. These are the realities that we need to learn to ensure that our future society can work together from a position of common ground, and values the strength, cultures and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
It is important as a person who walks, works and lives on the land of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people to learn, acknowledge and respect their histories. To know the nation that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people share with them, to know the true history of that nation before, during and after colonisation. We are taught to learn about the Romans, Egyptians or Vikings yet we do not learn the history of the longest continuous culture in the world. The respect is owed, we share and benefit off this land.
The campaign will run until sufficient change in the Australian National Curriculum in regards to mandatory teaching First Nations histories and that teachers are provided and supported with ongoing professional development in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories teaching. Additionally, we see student agency and advocacy in learning the true history of this country and importantly First Nations youth are being actively represented in their history lessons, that their histories matter and are respected.