Hi, I’m Shona Thompson and I’ve been at Port Noarlunga Primary School as a classroom teacher since 2011.
In 2019, I began working as our Aboriginal Education Teacher (AET) on Wednesdays and continued this in 2020.
This year, I am the AET on Thursdays and Fridays and will be working with our new Aboriginal Community Education Officer (ACEO) Anji Solomann.
To give you some background information about me, my first teaching appointment was on the Anangu/Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands at Yalata. Teaching in this remote Aboriginal community with children who predominately speak Pitjantjatjara was such a privilege and an amazing experience. I have also taught in Coober Pedy, as well as several local schools.
At PNPS, my role as the AET is to develop an inclusive and supportive culture within the whole school community, work closely with staff to improve the learning outcomes for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners and raise their profile by enabling them to have a voice and be active participants in their learning and when educating others.
We currently have 22 students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and 5 of these students have recently been elected as Young Leaders. We meet once a week, as a whole group, on the weeks when there isn’t an assembly. In Cultural Group, we learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history, have discussions and make decisions, learn about each other’s identity and plan whole school events for significant dates.
Over the past couple of years, we have also been involved in developing the Bush Tucker Garden (pictured below), designing our special tops and presenting them to Governing Council, celebrating whole school events for Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week, attending excursions such as the ATSI Stem Congress, being involved in community events such as the Yarning Circle and River Hub Community Event, and enabling students to lead the learning within their classrooms.
Anji and I have been planning some new ideas and are looking forward to seeing what the future holds. This year, we are hope that families can become more involved too.