Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Respecting local culture, history and language

About this Illustration of Practice

The teaching principal explains how he recognises and values the cultural traditions of the students and families in this remote community. He describes how he builds collaborative relationships with families and Aboriginal Education Workers (AEWs), so that local culture, history, language and knowledge of country can be incorporated into the everyday curriculum. AEWs work closely with students, supporting cultural learning as well as literacy and numeracy learning. The Deputy Director of the State Independent School sector affirms the professional growth of the young principal and the power of his skilled, poised liaison with the community.

Standard 1
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.4
Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
Career stage
Develop teaching programs that support equitable and ongoing participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by engaging in collaborative relationships with community representatives and parents/carers.
Other descriptors
Standard 2
Know the content and how to teach it
Focus area 2.4
Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians
Career stage
Lead initiatives to assist colleagues with opportunities for students to develop understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.
Standard 7
Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community
Focus area 7.3
Engage with the parents/carers
Career stage
Identify, initiate and build on opportunities that engage parents/carers in both the progress of their children’s learning and in the educational priorities of the school.
  1. What are the characteristics of successful involvement of, and liaison with, a local community?
  2. How can teachers draw upon and support local culture, history and language/s in a teaching and learning program?
  3. What are the ways in which you could support and develop other teachers' intercultural awareness?
Purnululu Independent Aboriginal Community School
Western Australia
Year level
Early Childhood
Stage of schooling
School type
Non Government
School location
Very Remote
View full map

Purnululu Aboriginal Community Independent School was established in 1991 to provide an educational service for the traditional owners of Purnululu National Park and adjacent lands. In this very remote setting, teachers live within the community established by the Aboriginal traditional owners of the land. Teachers, including the teaching principal, interact with families and the wider community on a daily basis, enabling conversations that set mutually agreed priorities for students’ learning, as well as more formal advice received by the School’s Board. To enable cultural learning, the teaching principal is empowering AEWs and members of the School’s Board to lead planning and review within the school and to participate fully in achieving the common vision.

Content provider
Early Childhood Australia (ECA)

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.