So it’s been a while since I have touched base on my Directed Studies project. As I mentioned before, I am undertaking a critical analysis of the heritage training opportunities available for Aboriginal people and evaluating development options for the South Australian model.
I had a slow start to the project. I had some major hurdles in regards to obtaining the information needed from other government departments across Australia. Due to some lucky breaks I am back on track. I will outline what I have done so far and then write an informal small brief of what I plan to do next.
• I have read all of the resources used in the teaching of the South Australian model. These were obtained from the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division of the South Australian Government. Furthermore, I have identified some areas of weakness within those resources and have started to formulate ways to remove such weaknesses.
• The State government of Victoria offers a program for training of Aboriginal people in the area of archaeology, heritage, cultural heritage management and protection. From the small amount of information that I have access to I have identified that it is a very different model and program then the South Australian model. This program would be fantastic to use in my study. However, I have emailed the coordinators and public contact for the Victorian training program requesting further information. I have to date received only emails referring me to someone else.
• After contacting staff from other state bodies, I have perceived that there is an extreme lack of such training opportunities for Aboriginal people. Therefore, I have stepped away from government related programs and sought training programs offered by other parties.
• I have contacted Sharon Sullivan in regards to heritage training as I remembered she was a coordinator for a few such programs.
• Sharon Sullivan referred me to Nicholas Hall, who is currently undertaking a study similar to mine but on a larger scale. Nicholas Hall and his colleagues have been great and very helpful. Sending me information about how they are getting information on such programs.
• Next week I am meeting up with my supervisors from AARD. I will be giving them an overview of what I have come up with so far and making sure it is covering the outcome they want.
• I plan to spend the weekend writing a critical analysis of the South Australian model and on the training programs that Sharon Sullivan has been involved in.
• I am also hoping to write a history of heritage training for Aboriginal people offered in Australia.
Overall, I am feeling overwhelmed. I feel the project gets bigger every day. However, I think it is interesting and hopefully it will pull together very soon.
Good luck to those other students that are undertaking a Directed Studies project.