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Indigenous Immersion with Rustic Pathways

Why should schools engage with Indigenous Australia?

  • Australia has an incredibly rich Indigenous history and culture that spans over 60,000 years and is the world’s oldest continuous living culture.
  • Engaging with Indigenous Australia will help students to understand the concepts of country, place and people and how they are interconnected.
  • To gain an understanding of the historic and contemporary implications of colonisation.
  • The current Australian curriculum allows and encourages students to learn about and explore Indigenous history and culture, something that has often been excluded from the education system in the past.
  • The cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures allows students to value Indigenous knowledge systems and appreciate Indigenous contributions to Australian society over time.
  • Learning about all facets of Indigenous history and culture allows students to not only develop respect for cultural diversity, but to gain a well- rounded perspective of Australia’s history.
  • Historical inquiry promotes and encourages empathy for other people from different backgrounds and different times. Empathy is an extremely powerful emotion that is fundamental in reaching reconciliation.
  • Engaging in Indigenous education promotes the closing of the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in many areas, including; educational achievement, employment opportunities and life expectancy.
  • If students can develop an understanding of why cultures differ it will encourage appreciation for diversity, and hopefully, halt the growth of or even alter racist viewpoints.

What can Rustic Pathways offer?

  • Unique Indigenous immersion programs that aim to provide students with a deeper insight into Indigenous culture.
  • The opportunity for students to live and learn alongside Traditional Owners and Elders on their lands. Rustic Pathways has formed strong relationships with these communities over many years.
  • Meaningful service projects with Rustic Pathways long term community partners that are mutually beneficial.
  • A safe and unique way for students to interact with Indigenous culture outside of the classroom.
  • Pre and post travel workshops and learning opportunities.

Why should schools travel with us?

  • At Rustic Pathways ensuring the safety of every person that travels with us is our top priority. We have refined our safety and security protocols over a number of years to become a leader among providers of student travel programs. **Click here to read more about our safety and risk management procedures.
  • Everything is organised for you. We look after it all, from flights, accommodation, meals, service projects and activities, to dedicated support for students, teachers and parents before, during and after travelling with Rustic.
  • We offer fully customisable experiences that can be tailored to specific learning areas or school requirements.
  • To provide their students with a life changing opportunity for growth and self-development.
  • We offer a diverse range of programs in multiple locations.

Regions we operate in:

**Click on the star or place name for the area of the country you are interested in to view more information and a sample itinerary from that area.

Indigenous Groups Rustic Pathways Works With

The Martu

The Martu are the traditional owners of a large part of central Western Australia which extends from the Great Sandy Desert in the north to around Wiluna in the south. Across this country, Martu share a common law, culture and language.

The Martu were some of the last of Australia’s Indigenous people to make contact with European Australians with many migrating from their desert lands into neighbouring pastoral stations and missions in the 1950s and 1960s.

Like many Aboriginal people, Martu speak or understand numerous languages. For most Martu, even the children, English is a second or more language.

In 2002, the Martu were awarded native title rights to over 13.6 million hectares of the Western Desert which is referred to as the Martu native title determination. The Martu determination has enormous cultural significance to Martu. The lands are literally ‘alive’ with thousands of cultural sites (many of them water sources), song lines, stories, ceremonies, history and tangible materials such as occupation sites, objects and artefacts.

Old people have first-hand experience of traditional life and have extensive traditional ecological knowledge of their country. This provides an important and time limited opportunity to preserve and transfer this knowledge before they pass away.

The Miriwoong and Gajirrabeng

The land of the Miriwoong and Gajirrabeng people covers a wide area with Kununurra at the heart of Miriwoong country. The Miriwoong and Gajirrabeng people used to live in harmony with the land from Molly Spring in the west, most of the mighty Ord River including parts of Lake Argyle and way beyond the Northern Territory border across Keep River National Park and up to the coast.

Things have changed greatly since this time and many Miriwoong and Gajirrabeng people have moved into town or adjacent communities.

The Miriwoong and Gajirrabeng people are passionate about sharing and nurturing their language and culture, together they work to build a strong, proud and respectful community where their people have a sense of who they are and the land to which they belong.

Rustic Pathways has been working with the Miriwoong community for a number of years in many different ways. Through our long-term partnerships with local organisations, Rustic Pathways supports the Miriwoong community through community service projects. These projects allow Rustic Pathways students to connect with community members and provide support to pre-existing long term projects. Students may be involved with environmental, educational or socio-economic projects that directly support the Miriwoong community.

Bardi Jawi

Bardi Jawi country is bounded by sea on the eastern, northern and western sides of the Dampier Peninsula, with the southern boundary about 160kms north from Broome. Bardi Jawi people consider their country to include part of the sea, on which they depend. The main communities on Bardi country are Djarindjin, Lombadina and Ardyaloon (One Arm Point). The ocean has been pivotal in the lives of the Bardi people for many thousands of years as both a source of food and spiritual significance. Evidence of their saltwater heritage can be found in the traditional artworks and pearl shell designs.