Story Ground – Cultural Awareness for Teachers


Start date

7 October

Time commitment

3 x 1.5 hour workshops


Face to face, Thursdays 4pm


Face to face
(If the COVID 19 situation persists and we are unable to hold this course face to face due to restrictions, it will run online instead.)



This short workshop series is for teachers looking to learn ways to work with Indigenous content in the classroom in a culturally responsive manner.  It is suitable for both Primary and Secondary teachers who interact with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students.

Designed to help teachers with wellbeing and growth, the course brings together Indigenous Story practices with the disciplines of creative writing and literature. Story Ground uses storying and writing to develop opportunities to engage with contemporary and traditional Indigenous knowledge, cultural experience and creative practice.  It is based in culturally grounded and culturally responsive pedagogy.

Participants will be encouraged to find ways to embed the learning from this course in their schools. In the final workshop, teachers will bring an example of their practice to share with others.

The course is fully TQI accredited and aligned to the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards for English, the General Capabilities of Engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, and Sustainability.

This course is not-for-profit, with costs subsidised by the University of Canberra Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership & Strategy (OATSILS).

Career potential

This course is TQI accredited.

This course will contribute to teachers’ professional development in the areas of cultural awareness and competency.

It will help participants develop their readiness to engage in the classroom with Indigenous Australian cultures, traditions and contemporary lived experiences.

Who should apply for this course

This course is suitable for Primary and Secondary teachers or school administrative staff who interact with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students. It is suitable for those looking to engage in culturally responsive pedagogical practices that are supportive of Indigenous students and their experiences of education.

Learning outcomes

  • Engage with Indigenous ways of knowing through storying and writing.
  • Consider key issues related to culturally grounded and culturally responsive pedagogy.
  • Develop ways of engaging with Indigenous cultures, traditions and lived experience in teaching practice.

Course presenters

Learn from industry experts

Dr Paul Collis

Dr Paul Collis is a Barkindji traditional owner who lives and works on Ngunnawal Country. He is an experienced senior cultural leader and mentor, and an award-winning creative practitioner and academic. Paul’s published creative work has included the novel Dancing Home (UQP 2017) which won the ACT Book of the Year Award and the David Unaipon Award, and the poetry collection Nightmares Run Like Mercury (Recent Work Press, 2021). He is an Adjunct Professional Associate within the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra, where he lectures and tutors in Creative Writing and Indigenous Studies.

Andi Stapp-Gaunt

Andi is PhD student in the Faculty of Arts and Design. Her creative writing thesis is focused on interspecies relations and she uses Indigenous methodologies to guide her research. Andi has a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide. She is an English teacher for the ACT Education Directorate and collaborates on projects at the University of Canberra. Andi loves non-human animals, and her creative stories are inspired by the natural and supernatural worlds.

Course structure

Module 1

Story, Culture and Relationality

  • What is the difference between Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement to Country?
  • How can I use Acknowledgement in the classroom?
  • What is the role of story in engaging with Indigenous cultures?
Module 2

Culturally Responsive Teaching Practice

    This session will provide teachers with supportive ideas for working with Indigenous students through the concept of perspectives. Storying will be explored as sitting at the heart of identity and as a form of knowledge transmission. Teachers will be encouraged to participate in storying practices and to take this knowledge back to their school setting.
Module 3

Embedding Story in the Classroom

    In the third session teachers will come back, in a Yarning Circle, to discuss and celebrate the ways in which they have embedded storying practices and perspectivism in the classroom.

Why choose UC Pro

UC Endorsed

Backed by the reputation of one of Australia’s top 10 universities.

THE World University Rankings 2020


University expertise with practical workforce skills. Taught by industry experts.

Fast and flexible

Short courses that fit in with your busy lifestyle.

Study your way

Online, in-person and blended learning to suit your lifestyle.

UC Endorsed

Upon completion of the Story Ground – Cultural Awareness for Teachers course you will earn a digital badge and certificate of completion from UC Pro that you can share on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

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