Cairns Museum – Yidinji Culture Schools Kit






Yidinji Culture Schools Kit

Year of grant:

2020 - 2021

Developing a resource to support educators with teaching Indigenous histories and culture at a local level.

November 2021

There is evidence that suggests lack of cultural pride among Indigenous students, contributes to school non-attendance and therefore poorer education outcomes (Closing the Gap 2010).  Giving children and their friends the opportunity to learn about their culture and for it to be recognised at school is one way the Cairns Museum and the MINJIL Yidinji Cultural Services are trying to tackle this issue.

When the Cairns Museum approached The John Villiers Trust for their support in a collaboration with MINJIL Yidinji Cultural Services to create culturally appropriate, Indigenous focused activity kits for primary schools in the Cairns area, we recognised the value of this collaboration.

For the Yidinji People, Traditional Owners of the Cairns area, knowing your culture and identifying with that culture is a source of strength for both children and adults.  Teaching culture, sharing culture through education, and having their culture recognised at school helps the students, their friends, their teachers, and the broader community have a greater understanding and therefore enables a sense of cultural pride to be fostered.

JVT supported the production of print and digital resources and two full activity kits with handmade locally significant artifacts that can be lent out to the 98 primary schools in the Cairns and surrounding regions. It provides a resource that supports educators with teaching Indigenous histories and culture at a local level. The kits also help to achieve the curriculum capabilities of Intercultural Understanding and cross-curricular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture which are important components of improving retention and educational outcomes for Indigenous children.

“The kit has really contributed to quality, authentic resources for local schools, better representation for local Aboriginal kids in the curriculum, a strong and respectful relationship with MINJIL and another means of engagement with our local communities.” Susan Gibson, Manager Cairns Museum.