Student reflection

Date Task Student reflection
Reflection Part 1
Wk 1 Beginning Reflection:

Students may like to explore –

What do I know of Aboriginal culture? How do I know what I know? (All students can reflect on how their knowledge is constructed over time – what forces/variables had shaped it)

I grew up in a community that had a large number of people of aboriginal descent. My interactions with the aboriginal community were extensive, and I can trace this to growing up as a child. I have a large number of friends as well as relatives of aboriginal descent. In my interactions with the aboriginal or indigenous Australian community, I came to understand of the presence of a large number of distinctive indigenous groups with different language. This helped me to understand the localised subdivisions of the community, which are based on location and indigenous language used by a given community. I came to understand the presence of differences in terms of language through some of my friends of aboriginal descent.
  What do I know about this course (IAPP)? How do I feel about the course objectives? From the discussions and discourses provided by the lecturers, I came to appreciate and understand the importance of enabling students to understand the concept of diversity. Through educational programs, educators are able to impart critical knowledge to the students relative to the protocols and culture of the indigenous communities. Enabling them to understand the importance of respect for other communities, it becomes relatively easy for students such as me to conduct research and interact with indigenous communities with relative ease and success. The coverage of indigenous communities is critical towards enabling effective social interactions and more so cultivation of diversity in Australia.
  “If you can read this you are on Aboriginal land”. How do I feel about this statement? How does it affect my life and me? The statement clearly refers to the fact that the aboriginal community has a historical connection to Australia as their ancestral home. In addition, this is manifested by the complex nature of relations between the aboriginal community and their various geographical settings. I think that the aboriginal community, similar to the native Americans, are the rightful owners of the land and should have adequate opportunities to exercise their cultural values and achieve economic development. This affirms the need to ensure that the aboriginal community is provided with appropriate respect given that they have been effective in undertaking measures to protect the environment around the country. Their intricate interactions and relationships with the environment affirm their extensive skills, knowledge and capacity to safeguard the endangered plant and animal species as well as flora and fauna around the country. This is primarily attributed to coexistence with the environment in a manner marked by honesty and a high level of morality. I think it is important for the government to acknowledge and accommodate the aboriginal communities in efforts aimed at sustaining and enhancing the biodiversity in the country. I also find the statement to have arisen from the extensive oppression faced by the aboriginal community in the Australia, similar to other minority communities who faced oppression, discrimination and persecution as well. I personally understand the underlying reasons and intentions of the identified statement. It sought to affirm the importance of the aboriginal community and more so as the rightful owners in Australia.
Wk 2 Thinking more about knowledge: Looking around at your everyday life, can you see a “way-of-being” at play?

Use newspapers, books, magazines and other sources of popular culture to guide your thinking.

The lecture during this week as well as the tutorials provide were relatively effective in providing me with new knowledge and understanding on, “way-of-being.” In the progression of this course I cam to understand the way of being as part of human nature as humanity engages in interactions with others and more so the environment. While growing up I came to understand my role in the society, which was affirmed by the gendered social constructs in terms of my expected behaviour, responsibilities and roles in the community. Growing up in a conservative family and societal setting was relatively effective in providing me with similarly conservative view of the world.

I think the way of being is accruable from individual experiences and interactions with the environment of growing up. The environment of growing up is depicted by the cultural practices, belief systems. Attitudes and values held by particular community. Thus, cultural values and experiences influence a person’s way of being. The experiences and interactions with people from diverse cultures are responsible for the emergence of my way-of-being illustrated by my distinctive character and more so social skills.

Wk 3 You have reflected on how you think about other cultures; now consider the thoughts and feelings of the people around you (family, friends, and extended community) about different cultures? Reflect on their beliefs. I have come to note of the presence of racial prejudices manifested in the form of derogatory, stereotyped and discriminatory behaviour and practices in the community. This is relatively pronounced in rural and less populated areas, whereas urban areas such as cities illustrate the presence of understanding of the critical nature of diversity. I think that the educational level of an individual as well as exposure to interactions with diverse cultures and races plays an important role in enabling them to respect and understand the values and behaviour of people from different communities.

In addition, the societal attitudes affirm that the failure by governments and members of the society to enhance diversity may be an impediment to development of a community. My culture has been passed on through generations by parents who are solely responsible for teaching the children on acceptable behaviour, societal attitudes and more so gender roles. I think the perspectives held by people about other cultures are because of lack of adequate exposure to interact with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. People utilise their cultural values, beliefs and understanding as a basis for affirming their respective beliefs and attitudes towards a particular community or culture.

I have been a victim of prejudice and stereotyped behaviour projected towards me due to my origin and culture. This provided me with an understanding of the source of prejudices that bring about stereotyped behaviour and attitude.



How is your culture maintained & sustained? What are the signifiers of who you are (individually and as a member of many communities)? I have a relatively fair and healthy relationship with my culture. I appreciate and have firm understanding of my cultural identity, beliefs and cultural values I hold form an important part of my life. I think my identity has also been influenced by the environment of upbringing and the subsequent interactions with people drawn from diverse cultures. The neighbourhood where I grew up in was marked by the presence of individuals drawn from different races, ethnicities and nationalities. This affirmed my positive attitude towards respecting other individuals irrespective of their race, culture, gender, ethnicity and nationality. I have to appreciate gradually the importance of having a set of cultural values that provides one with a basis for developing individual identity.
Reflection Part 2

7 – 11

Speculate on how your future professional practice may be impacted/influenced by Indigenous protocols and issues. [You should relate at least three of the guest speaker presentation in week 7 to 13]

This section – maximum of 500 words.

The knowledge and skills gained from the lectures and more so the coverage on interactions with the aboriginal community will have a relatively positive effect on my social skills in engagements with the indigenous communities. In addition, I came to understand the there is a history of mistrust amongst the indigenous communities towards welfare based agencies. The program has been effective in providing me with relatively adequate and effective skills and knowledge, which I will use in my subsequent interactions with the native communities. Learning about cultural issues and protocols towards interactions with the aboriginal communities will enable me to be culturally sensitive and respectful towards beliefs, values, norms and attitudes amongst the members of this community.

Traditional culture of the indigenous communities holds a particular allure for me because of the resilience of these communities in the wake of modernisation. I find it interesting given that these communities have extensive knowledge of the natural surroundings. This can be illustrated by their harmonious existence with animals and plants, which they rely on for medicine, nourishment and aesthetic needs. Tristan Shultz noted the importance of collaboration with the indigenous community as means of developing works, which appeal to the aesthetic and cultural values of the aboriginal community. Collaboration and engagement with the aboriginal community would provide enthusiastic artists with opportunities for using appropriate designs, which misappropriate and presumably distort the cultural values, attitudes and designs utilised by the aboriginal community for thousands of years.

Judy Watson discussed on the importance of the environment in which artists work. She discussed her strategy when working in a new environment. She noted that she first researches the cultural relevance of the surrounding are and its importance towards the cultural history of a given community. Personally, I have never undertaken any research on the environment, which I work in due to constraints such as resources as well as lack of interest. I find this to be of particular interest and importance because it provides one with new perspectives towards development of culturally relevant works of art.

Learning of the cultural issues and protocols provided me with a professional perspective of the importance of incorporation of ethics in art. This will ensure that I focus primarily on ensuring that I give back to the communities and engage them in developing various works, as well as ensuring that I acknowledge their input in specific works. Marianne Wobcke, in Lecture 9 discussed about decolonisation of research, which provides researchers with new perspectives, which are beyond their individual preconceptions and beliefs about a specific culture and its belief systems. She talked of the importance of self-evaluation to understand the relevance and appropriateness of preconceived notions about a given community as a means of ensuring successful engagements and interactions with the native communities. She noted in the lecture that she was driven by the need to ensure that the students accrued, “an indigenous experience of feeling some of the issues (that we have explored theoretically) in our body”. In addition, this would enable all students to understand how such preconceptions would affect the theoretical understanding of individual experiences with the indigenous communities.

I think art can be an effective platform for enhancing cohesion between Australians and the native aboriginal communities. The collaboration demanded in the use of aboriginal designs by contemporary artists can enable the achievement of relatively culturally appropriate content that may inspire cooperation, respect and harmony between the aboriginal community and Australians.




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