Ngaga-dji, a call to action: education justice and youth imprisonment

In October 2018, our Justice Involved Young people network co-hosted a forum called Ngaga-dji, a call to action: education justice and youth… Voices for Justice, Stories for Change.

It showcased an important report by the Koorie Youth Council (KYC): Ngaga-dji (‘hear me’). The report  voices the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Victoria’s youth justice system and through a Call to Action, presents solutions for the injustices experienced.

For our network co-convenor, Dr Sophie Rudolph and Indi Clarke at the KYC, it was a starting point to think about what this report means for educators and how they might listen more deeply and strongly to the voices and the solutions put forward in the report.

Sophie’s recently published article Ngaga-dji, a call to action: education justice and youth imprisonment  grows out of the collaboration between our network with the KYC. Her article engages with the Ngaga-dji report to examine how educators and those involved in education might seek to change their practices.

Sophie speaking at the forum in 2018

Watch our webinar on building culturally safer and relationally stronger schools

Capture webinar

On 26 August 2020 we co-hosted this webinar with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne.

Our panel reflected on the challenges and opportunities for building stronger and safer schools to support and value young people.

You can watch the webinar in the youtube link below:

Some of the issues and questions raised by attendees through the Q&A were:

  • The importance of properly listening to First Nations communities.
  • The possibilities and potential challenges of a system of mandatory reporting of racism in schools
  • Some of the challenges and possibilities for teacher education that is reflexive
  • How do we know when we’re doing good anti-racism and decolonial work?
  • How do we move beyond tokenistic understandings of diversity and address cultures of whiteness

Panellists left the audience with some challenges to continue to think about, including:

  • How do teachers hold strong in their humanity while confronting the ways we have been conditioned to see some things and not others?
  • How do we get away from binary and deficit understandings of difference and move towards ways of working that value difference?
  • How do we listen to students even when they tell us things we might not want to hear?
  • How do we deeply know and understand the structures of racism and the multiple effects of racism on young people?

Would you like to be involved in further work in this area? If yes, do you have ideas/suggestions about how you could be involved/where to take this work next?


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