Well, end of a very busy Ballerrt Mooroop week, started with a demo on Monday to stop the education department committing their evil and discriminatory deeds and ends with flat out legal work on the Commonwealth and State heritage issues.
The media continues to follow the protest. GSS had a protest in the middle of the week, good stuf...f and about time the GSS parents got involved as they also need to understand that we do understand their needs and ours, they need to understand that there are cultural and legal issues here that their leaders should never have ignored from day one to now ...
A Tanderrum Ceremony for all inheriting the educational sins of the bureaucratic decision-makers?
"A Wurundjeri Tanderrum is a welcome ceremony from the memory of our Ancestors and performed by respected living Elders. Tanderrum is an ancient tradition, custom, belief and observance is still practised today as the public has seen at numerous events like the AFL grand final. Just because we live in Melbourne does not mean we lose our connection, our respect for our history, our traditional music, art and dance practises. We do not not get our culture out of a "weeties packet or a coca cola label." Our cultural business arises from over 50,000 years or more from our Ancestors.
The Victorian Aboriginal community opposes the buiding of the GSS on our site if it is going to destroy our cultural heritage. We did not plan or make the decision to build GSS on our site. There is no informed consent from our whole Community or School about GSS's plan. GSS is an imposition on our Community initiated by bureaucrats who failed in their sacred public duty to treat all stakeholders respectfully, fairly and equitably ...
Major Protest Ignites
Education Department undermines Commonwealth and State Heritage Applications
At 7.00am today the VDEECD sent workers and police onto Ballerrt Mooroop College against the Community Picket to fence off two thirds of the school's land to start building a second school on the same site. There is currently a major Sit In and Blockade in protest at the education department's three year plan to build another school on the site when other schools have become vacant.
The departmental fencing will shut out Traditional Owners from their cultural heritage areas subject to protection applications with the State and the Commonwealth. The Glenroy public park will also be lost to local residents.
In effect the state has undermined the federal and state heritage processes. The education department has undermined the wishes of the school and Community putting paid to any State Government policy devolving authority and decision-making to School Councils all over Victoria.
This would never happen to a Jewish or Muslim or Greek or Catholic school. The Spirit Tree, Ceremonial Ground and Gathering Place are to be destroyed in a shameful act of desecration by the Bailieu Government during Reconciliation Week. Legal proceedings are being issued against the State.
Victoria's Auditor-General, Des Pearson tabled a report with the Victorian Government on Wednesday 1st June, 2011. The report was in the form of an audit of the Wannik Strategy.
The report stated that the service agreement has not been well managed and concluded that at the beginning of the fourth year DEECD cannot demonstrate whether the Wannik strategy is on track to improve education outcomes for Koorie students.
Garry Murray stated that this report raises serious questions for the VAEAI and the Central Office bureaucrats and the future of Bellerrt Mooroop College lies with the Master Plan - and this detailed plan was produced without the VAEAI and DEECD.
Aboriginal parents have worked hard to have the opportunity to send their children to a school that has significant cultural values and a culturally appropriate learning program - but the school has consistently been set up for failure by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and their agencies.
Victoria's Koori pathways schools, which are intended to reconnect disengaged students with mainstream schools, opened in 2009 after the former Victorian College of Koori Education was closed following a scathing report by Dr Sarra.
Dr Sarra said in the report the college, which had four campuses, had become a "dumping ground" for difficult students.
Now in 2012 a new independent review of the four remaining Koori schools, which are located in Glenroy, Morwell, Swan Hill and Mildura, will examine whether there is still a need for them, whether the replacement concept is appropriate or flawed. - 'The Age' report - 2nd March 2012
The Minister of Education, Martin Dixon, has agreed to a recently negotiated compromised plan that keeps the spirit tree and cultural area. The Gathering Place (Gym) will be demolished but 2/3rds of its land will remain on the BMC side of the fence thus allowing a new community hub to be built there or somewhere else on the site - (see Gathering Place Vision).
Although the decision on a new Gathering Place building is still being discussed, it seems quite feasible to obtain the relevant funding for a new multi-function building for school use and a hub for Indigenous community educational, cultural and recreational activities. BMC already has some money set aside for this and/or with additional Local, State and Federal funding, a significant building is envisaged.
Big Win and Big Thank You to all
This is a very big win for the Ballarrt Mooroop College Committee and their friends and supporters. A big Thank You to everybody who helped in any way.