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Our commitment to reconciliation

As the oldest living civilisation in the world, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the original custodians of education, leadership and transfer of knowledge – from whom we still have so much to learn.
Rocks on Dja Dja Wurrung Country

Acknowledgement

Teach For Australia is headquartered on the land of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.

Teach For Australia acknowledges and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia. Their deep relationship with and enduring care of Country is a gift to our nation, and bestows an obligation to us all to honour our first peoples and look after Country alongside them.

This was and will always be their land.

Our community of teachers, leaders, supporters and partners live and work across a great many more lands. On behalf of all, Teach For Australia pays respect to the elders past and present of this wide land of Australia, their custodianship, their courage and their resilience. Theirs is the oldest living and continuous culture on earth, and their emerging leaders will carry it forth with strength, pride and determination.

Tree trunk on Dja Dja Wurrung Country

Teach For Australia believes that reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples is critical to achieving our vision of an excellent education for all Australians.

We believe our young peoples are our future.

As educators across the nation, we see daily the many small and large ways that the potential of our young peoples is constrained – and this is particularly true for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

We believe in their unlimited potential, and that we must work together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, their families, communities, schools and systems to ensure that future is as bright as possible.

Sunset on Dja Dja Wurrung Country

Our vision

Our commitment to educational equity for every child demands of us to be a culturally safe and inclusive organisation and an advocate for systemic fairness.

At Teach For Australia, we commit to deeply listening to and have authentic relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – children, communities and organisations – in service of an education that celebrates their unique identity and strength, and empowers them to thrive. In doing so, we co-create an Australia that honours us all.


Our beliefs

Teach For Australia believes education is a powerful tool for both individuals and societies to realise their full potential. Education should embrace as sacred the unique identity of every child, and equip them to choose the life they most value. We believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities know what will work best for their children’s education.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities never ceded their sovereignty. To fully realise our collective humanity and potential as Australians, we must educate ourselves about the full truth of our past, however uncomfortable. The impact of colonization, which began over 200 years ago, can still be seen today in the continuing injustices of systemic racism and persistent educational inequities facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Our community of teachers and leaders must therefore be culturally competent and capable educators who can – in the words of the First Nations young people of the Imagination Declaration:

Expect the best of us. Expect the unexpected. Expect us to continue carrying the custodianship of imagination, entrepreneurial spirit and genius. Expect us to be complex. And then let us spread our wings, and soar higher than ever before.


Our commitment

Our commitment to educational equity for every child demands of us to be a culturally safe and inclusive organisation and an advocate for systemic fairness.

At Teach For Australia, we commit to deeply listen to, learn from and have authentic relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – children, communities and organisations – in service of co-creating education that honours their unique identity, strength, and rightful place in our nation and empowers them to thrive.

This commitment requires both action and safety. You can expect us to help our staff and community of leaders grow their capability to be allies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by:

  • Embedding cultural competence in our internal practices and across our programs
  • Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples voices to be present and valued in our work
  • Building authentic relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities where we work
  • Continuing to hold ourselves accountable as an anti-racist organisation, for the authenticity of our relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as well as other diverse communities.

Our invitation

This is a journey that will take time, reflection, candour and accountability. Our understanding – the life long learning and unlearning inherent within this work – will evolve. We ask you to help us stay grounded in our vision for authentic relationships and allyship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as we live and work on their Country.

Walking side by side together strengthens us all.