Indigenous Learning & Teaching​​​​​​​
Indigenous Knowledges Hub
Emma Gavin
Moondani Toombadool Centre​​​​​​​

This project looks at the Indigenising and decolonising work occurring across teaching and learning areas at Swinburne, and how these changes engage, and enhance students’ understanding of, and engagement with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, scholarship and standpoints.
Further, this project will provide a valuable resource for all academic staff and LTU.

As a university with an elevate status Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), Swinburne is committed to the embedding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and knowledges across all aspects of the University. Ensuring our campuses, teachings and university culture are culturally safe and inclusive places for Indigenous peoples and knowledges, requires the decolonising and (re)Indigenising of physical spaces, units, degrees, and policy. In a teaching and learning context, this involves the decolonising and Indigenising of unit curricular. Ensuring units are inclusive of Indigenous content, standpoints and scholarship, works towards our RAP requirements and our university strategic plan targets. However, across the university – particularly as there are so few Indigenous Academics within the Schools to help guide curriculum and cultural shifts, many unit convenors and teaching teams are unsure on how to go about this process authentically and appropriately. Further, teaching and learning at Swinburne are only one aspect of the university experience and culture, many other areas are also going through the decolonising and (re)Indigenising process. With these changes occurring in different stages and in different ways across the University, it became clear that we needed a space to support and showcase the work that was being done. This project sought to create a digital Hub where academics from all areas of the university could go to find assistance and gain knowledge in all areas of this process.   

Project Overview 
This project is a Digital Resource Hub to provide resources dedicated to the decolonising and Indigenising work occurring at Swinburne, with a focus on teaching and learning. The Hub has 6 areas, with the option to expand and add new areas as they come about.  
Area 1) Focuses on Reconciliation at Swinburne. The digital documents in this area provide resources on Reconciliation at Swinburne, including our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and our university vision for reconciliation at Swinburne.  
Area 2) Focuses on Teaching and Learning. It has four sub-areas. Area 2.1 focuses on decolonising and Indigenising unit curricular. The digital documents in this area provide advice and resources dedicated to the reviewing and removing of colonial or non-appropriate materials and the adding of Indigenous-focused knowledges, teaching topics and scholarship, to unit curricula in each school. This includes providing key scholarship and topic areas within discipline areas to help guide teaching staff as they begin this process. This area also provides advice on incorporating Acknowledgment pages within Canvas units, and the reviewing of course/unit statements and course/unit outcomes. Area. 2.2 Focuses on building confidence among teaching staff to teach from, and with, Indigenous standpoints. This is an important area, as often teaching staff are not reluctant to review their curricular because they do not wish to decolonise or Indigenise, often they are just unsure of how to do so appropriately, and are worried they will get it wrong. This area provides digital documents on how to understand the cultural space, on common errors teachers make when beginning to embed Indigenous Knowledges into their curriculums / teaching practice and how to avoid these, and resources on how to build confidence in teaching from and with Indigenous standpoints. Area 2.3 Provides resources on appropriate methods of engaging Indigenous industry experts. This is a key learning area at Swinburne, as we have very few Indigenous academics, often teaching staff will outsource an Indigenous industry expert. This area provides digital documents on best practice, including: remuneration; recording of lectures, and protecting the cultural safety of Indigenous guests. Area 2.4 Provides resources on Indigenous Studies at Swinburne and provides useful links to relevant areas. 
Area 3) Provides resources on the Moondani Toombadool Centre. The MTC is responsible for all Indigenous matters at Swinburne, including governance, culture, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, teaching and learning, and research. Providing staff access to this area, allows for wider engagement with Indigenous matters in all areas. 
Area 4) Provides resources on Indigenous Student Services at Swinburne. While this area falls under the MTC portfolio, it is important to showcase the work being done in this space with its own area to make it more visible to wider Swinburne audiences.  
Area 5) Focuses on Co-Ground at Yarrwinbu, which is the Social Enterprise café operating within the new Indigenous space on campus Yarrwinbu (‘enjoy’). Providing resources on the way we are Indigenising campus spaces is important, as it shows the collective work being done across the university, which influences and impacts teaching and learning.  
 Area 6) Provides a space for additional miscellaneous resources on Indigenous matters that may be helpful for Swinburne staff. 

Emergent Outcomes (outcomes of the project)  
The ‘Indigenous Knowledges Hub: Decolonising and Indigenising at Swinburne’ project has created a Learning and Teaching resource in the form of sharable Digital Resource Hub. This resource brings together resources, disciplines, portfolio areas, scholarship, and materials from across the university, and showcases them together is a user-friendly digital area. The Hub provides resources dedicated to: Reconciliation at Swinburne, Teaching and Learning (including: Decolonising and Indigenising Teaching and Learning, Building Confidence in Teaching Indigenous Standpoints, Engaging Indigenous Industry Experts, and Indigenous Studies) the Moondani Toombadool Centre, Indigenous Student Services, Co-Ground at Yarrwinbu, and other additional miscellaneous resources. This project has utilised the Adobe Portfolio software to create and house the Digital Resource Hub. 

Digital Literacy outcomes (student / staff engagement with Digital Literacies pillars) 
This project meets outcomes for innovation in learning and teaching across critical literacy, information literacy and technology literacy – as it is focused on the changes occurring in teaching and learning (and broader) at Swinburne, and how these changes engage, and enhance the students’ understanding of, and engagement with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, scholarship and standpoints, enhances cultural competency of staff and students; which is a graduate attribute for students and a RAP priority for staff, and how these changes contribute to decolonisation at the institution at a unit level. Further, this Digital Hub engages with Adobe technologies, which supports the digital literacy of all staff engaging with the Hub. Further this project has helped improve the technology literacy of the project lead, who has engaged with the Adobe programs and built the Hub.  

Key Learnings (personal shifts in teaching, approaches etc) 
In creating this Digital Hub, I learnt a lot about academic staff and about the reasons why tertiary curricular had been so reluctant to change. A lot of the hesitancy came from not knowing how to decolonise and Indigenise content in the right ways, and how to ensure engagement was authentic and not token. I also found that staff were unclear on the breadth of work occurring in Indigenous spaces across the university. In better understanding the concerns of academic staff, I was able to create a Digital Resource Hub that provided support and resources in these key areas. And by utilising Adobe technologies, I was able to merge the creative and visual aspects of Indigenous culture and our ways of learning, into visual and digital recourses that can help academic staff across the institution.   

Impact (data from student surveys, student feedback, reflections) 
The Project Lead has presented several of the digital resources that have been developed for this Indigenous Knowledges Hub to each school over the last few months, and after each presentation, engagement from the schools has increased. So far, we have seen significant engagement by unit convenors within the schools in beginning their journey to decolonise and Indigenise their curricular.  
For example, in SoSCET we have seen the Science Sustainability unit employ an Indigenous industry expert (Shannon Kilmartin-Lynch) to provide key guest lecture. And the creation of the purpose-built ‘Technology in an Indigenous Context’ Project unit, which includes Indigenous knowledges, scholarship, and perspectives in all aspects of unit design, unit topics, and assessment. Further, Indigenous industry expert (Shannon Kilmartin-Lynch) has been providing specialised guest lectures throughout this unit delivery. SoSCET has also created a Community of Practice to act as a support system for teaching staff in SoSCET to learn from each other and get support from MTC.  
The hiring of Indigenous industry experts in SoSCET followed the guidelines provided in Area 2 of the Indigenous Knowledges Hub. The creation of unit curricula relevant to the Indigenous aspects of this unit, was created in consultation with the MTC and through engagement with the decolonising and Indigenising teaching and learning resources provided in Area 2 of the Indigenous Knowledges Hub. 
This is just a small selection of the work occurring across the schools in 2022. With the creation of the Digital Hub, and all these resources in one area, we expect to see further engagement across all areas of the university in 2023.  
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