Joel talks about the importance of the lecturer in building a supportive classroom environment (2:38)

I guess coming from the cultural background of family support, always had our cousin, uncle, aunty there.  Always – always having someone there that, you know, you can – you can bounce ideas off, ask questions, you know, hang out with, whatever.  It just got lost.  As soon as I started the VET course I was alone, dead set alone.  I – I didn’t know about the – the Indigenous academic support, that had never been shown to me because I was a chef doing things externally.  So you just – you just feel like you’ve got no-one to ask.  The lecturers – the lecturer was just like, “I’m here to tell you this, if you don’t get it, read the book” kind of thing.  It was – he wasn’t approachable in the sense of, you know, like “Oh, I don’t quite understand this, you know?  I – can you explain it a better way?”  I sometimes find it hard to get my head around certain ideas or whatever, and I just need a bit of explanation to understand it from my point of view.  Maybe I need it dumbed down or something, I – I – I don’t know.  Whatever it is -

Don’t ever say that. 

I don’t know what it is but, you know, it’s – I just need it said a certain way and then, “Oh, I get it”.  But there just didn’t – don’t get that feeling from the lecturers that – that they’re approachable like that, like a teacher.  Like I know there is a difference between a teacher and a lecturer, but to me I don’t think there really should be.  I think that if they’re going to be lecturing, they are teaching us something, they are there to do – for a purpose, and they – they should be approachable and not seem like the monster at the front of the class.  Because for – for – for culturally adjusted students, like, that aren’t from Aboriginal communities, or didn’t grow up in an Indigenous type family, they’re – they’re – they’re adjusted to – to how that set up is.  I know that me and a couple of the Indigenous students are sitting at the back of the class going, “Oh man, should we ask him?”  “No, you ask him”, you know, like?  And we’re all, “Shame job” because we thought that the lecturer was going to bite our head off.  So we always just like, “Oh, we’ll make it up as we go, and guess our way along”.