We all follow the Elders who are the leaders of culture, law and language. Younger Gija people know a lot and should always be valued and respected, but it is older people who are the experts in Gija knowledge. Elders decide what is learnt about culture, where, how and who teaches it. We always listen to them, treat them with respect and look after them.
Gija people at the heart
When children and young people are learning about their culture, we need to be using Gija ways of passing on knowledge and teaching. How they learn is as important as what they learn. This means treating culture as a way of seeing and being in the world that Gija people are the experts in. Language is not just Gija words for things - it is a different way of looking, doing and thinking.
Learning on Country
We know that language, culture and Country are really all connected. Learning needs to happen out bush at places that are important to Gija people. It’s not only Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) stories that are connected to country but also life stories and memories, knowledge about plants, animals, water, land and traditional life. We will support older people to regularly take kids out bush to teach them about these places.
Two way learning is about non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people learning about each other’s cultures, languages and knowledge. This means when Gija teaching happens, non-Aboriginal people must come along, join in and learn from Elders. They must be happy to stand back, listen, hear about hard things. They must be prepared to maybe change their minds and try to understand new and complex ideas.
Everywhere, every day
Gija Elders have always been very clear that Gija and non-Aboriginal knowledge must be taught equally. Together we must find big and small ways of putting Gija language and knowledge into what we do every day. This means working out how to include Gija knowledge in every aspect of life at work, at school and at home.
Learning Gija never ends
Gija culture and language is beautiful, old and complex. Important parts of it will always be the same, but other things are changing as the world changes. Children need to know this and understand that as they learn small parts, they are just beginning and that this learning will go on for the rest of their lives. We try to teach in ways that ensure children and young people succeed and help them hold on to and deepen what they are learning.