Nardene gives some tips to VET lecturers on supporting Indigenous students (3:28)

If we had a room of new VET lecturers that had not worked with Indigenous people before, what would you tell them that they should be doing to work in a really effective way with Indigenous students?

I think just be open and at the beginning of the semester when all students are coming in, they can ask Betty or Kathy to come in and explain their services to the students.

So that’s the Indigenous Support...

Yeah, the Indigenous Support, because I think if Indigenous students get that when they begin and they know where to go, they’ll transition into it a lot easier, yeah. Because some, like sometimes the trainers are a little bit busy and they can only help you outside of the classroom. But I thought if trainers yeah bring someone like Kathy or Betty at the beginning, if they know they’re going to have Indigenous students in their class, bring them to give a little bit of overview of like what they do and how they can help.  Yeah, I find that really good because I didn’t get that. I had to seek it out for myself but I thought yeah, if you had that – when you first start a course, you’ll feel like more comfortable to know that there’s people there that can help you. Yeah so I was thinking – if the trainers yeah if they can set like a little bit of time for Kathy or Betty to come and talk about what they offer, yeah and where to find them, then yeah it will make Indigenous students feel a bit at ease.

And just for the trainers, when they are in the classroom, just have that element of empathy because like Indigenous students they get shame. So just acknowledging that, that there’s a little bit of a shame element and not like putting onus on them to like participate. And maybe like just out of like – out of their time, just pop to them, like one at a time and just like saying, ‘Are you okay?  Do you understand this?’  Just yeah like a couple of minutes in their teaching time, yeah just ask the Indigenous students, ‘Oh, are you okay? Do you understand what’s going on?’ And like maybe they can get, like, one of the non-Indigenous students to partner up with the Indigenous student, you know because to ice break as well as give that student the support while they’re in the classroom but the trainer not having to sit there one-on-one.  One of the other students that already know can, you know, help with assisting the Indigenous students.