2022 WA International Education Program of the Year
Congratulations to Curtin College and their program ‘Under the ‘Gija Jumulu’ Tree’ – Experiential Indigenous Learnings for receiving 2022 WA International Education Program of the Year Award.
The CISWA WA International Education Program of the Year Award recognises the work of an individual or team in a Western Australian education institution that has contributed to the welfare or support of international students. For example, communication support programs, pathways initiatives, or social inclusion activities.
Additional weight was given to any activities which promote interaction with Australian students, with the local community or help students settle into life in Australia.
This award was proudly sponsored by:
Susan Cullen (left), Senior Partnership Manager, Overseas Portfolio, Medibank presented the WA International Education Program of the Year Award to Ajay Karia (right), Academic Teacher, Curtin College and Rae-lee Warner, Associate Lecturer, Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University (middle).
2022 WINNER: ‘Under the ‘Gija Jumulu’ Tree’ – Experiential Indigenous Learnings, Curtin College
Named ‘Gija Jumulu’ after the giant baobab tree in the Noongar language, this project hosted by Curtin College seeks to bring together international students and members of Western Australia’s diverse Aboriginal community.
By leveraging the unique cultural backgrounds of both international students and First Nations peoples for mutual learning and dialogue, this unique-to-Perth project is a transformative learning experience that has left marked impressions on all participants.
The ‘Gija Jumulu’ project was initiated in early 2021 by Ajay Karia, a Curtin College lecturer and himself an international member of the WA community. It aims to ensure Indigenous perspectives are appropriately incorporated into the educational experience of students in the college’s Diploma of Health Science program as tomorrow’s health professionals.
This program is part of a unit which all Curtin College Diploma of Health Science students must be enrolled in, and it seeks to develop an appreciation of other cultures and build bridges, trust, friendship and confidence in interactions between international students and Indigenous Australians.
As a result of participating in this program, international students are upskilled to question negative views and stereotypes, think critically, and gain confidence in confronting discrimination. The program seeks to instill an awareness of Aboriginal cultures, both here in Australia and around the world – perhaps even in the students’ home countries, to ensure future health practitioners are able to challenge and address misconceptions, and work towards improved health outcomes and equity for a wide range of social groups.
Importantly, content, delivery, and assessments have been jointly developed with Curtin University’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies, which also ensures its appropriateness and acceptance from Aboriginal communities.