English teachers get insights into Indigenous Literature

  • Published on July 31, 2019
  • Indooroopilly State High School English teachers had the opportunity to discuss Indigenous Literature this week with Dr Annie Ross.

    Dr Ross, an Honorary Associate Professor with The University of Queensland, said her area of interest was the way Aboriginal people connected to place.

    “My main message for the staff is that Aboriginal culture is complex, that it is very difficult to disentangle the complex interactions between people and place over time,” she said.

    Dr Ross retired after 23 years with The University of Queensland’s School of Social Science. Her primary area of teaching and research interest was Aboriginal cultural heritage. Prior to that, she worked for the New South Wales and Queensland governments for 15 years on Aboriginal cultural heritage.

    “My major area of interest is in the way Aboriginal people connect to place,” she said.

    “My primary area of training is an archaeology, but it is very much a social archaeology. I haven’t dug a hole in the ground for a long time. I’m interested in the way people in the present relate to the past.”

    Kristie Pugliese, Head of Department – English, said Dr Ross’s Cultural Sensitivity training gave English teachers “a greater insight into sentient landscapes, connection to place and time as cyclical”.

    “Annie supported us to explore Katie Beckett’s play Which Way Home, currently being studied by our Year 11 English students,” Ms Pugliese said.

    “We discussed the subtle identity paradigm that underpins the text and the importance of place, time and phenomenology.

    “Annie’s knowledge and understanding of cultural sensitivity when engaging with Indigenous texts has better prepared our teachers to deliver literature to our students in a deeper and more meaningful way.”


    Last week in recognition of NAIDOC Week 2019 (which was during the school holidays) we held a special NAIDOC assembly with invited guests and parents. The 2019 NAIDOC theme focuses
    on Voice, Treaty, Truth: Let’s work together for a shared future, highlighting the elements and reforms of the Uluru Statement from the Heart (2017). The assembly featured stirring performances by the Yuggera dancers.

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