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Annette Saxaustralian indigenous education

“Womenjika! My name is Annette Sax and I have a yarn I’d like to share with you.

Many years ago Aunty Iris Lovett-Gardiner, a Gunditjmara Elder told us a story about her childhood adventure of hunting for possums.  Iris and her brother Charlie would look for possum scratch marks on the bark of the gum tree cause that’s the way they knew there was a possum hiding up in the tree!  Charlie was a great tracker and could always find the mother emu and echidna tracks.  They would also take with them their billy tea and damper for morning tea.

Aunty Iris’s story was made into a kit by Prahran TAFE for the early childhood staff.  In 1992 when I was a student doing the Aboriginal Child Care Course, I was encouraged by Sue Atkinson my lecturer, to share my culture with children. I conducted the “The Posum Hunt” puppet show when I went out on placement to Dawson Street Child Care Co –op and Brunswick Kindergaren.  The children absolutely loved the puppet show and were mesmerised by the bush scene, knitted finger puppets, the singing and the bush animals making their sounds.  This interactive show was a wonderful way for children and adults to hear the voice of our highly respected Elder, Aunty Iris.

It was during this time that I learnt so much more about my Indigenous culture and formed a friendship with Sue, who is a Yorta Yorta woman.  She was such a fantastic role model who gave us the support to explore and express for myself and other students.  Delta Kay ( Arwkal) and I completed the course together.  It was here that Delta Kay, Sue Atkinson and I formed a firm friendship.

We envisaged Yarn Strong Sista to be an Indigenous Education consultancy. There was a need for teachers to receive training about “how to promote Indigenous culture as part of every day program” and for them to feel confident when doing this. We knew there was a need for Indigenous storytellers to share both contemporary and traditional culture for children.  There was also a need to bridge the gap of appropriate Indigenous education resources, which reflected Victorian contemporary culture."



Our team

Annette Sax

Dr. Sue Atkinson

Fay Muir  

Isobel Morphy-Walsh

Bob Williams

Sarah Michaelides

Kate Ten Buuren


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