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Marrung

The Marrung strategy ensures that all Koorie Victorians achieve their learning aspirations.

Marrung is the Wemba Wemba word for the Murray Cypress pine tree, representing branches of education and knowledge. We thank the Wemba Wemba people for allowing the use of their language in the naming of this plan.

Our vision

Victoria will be a state where:

  • the rich and thriving culture, knowledge and experience of our First Nations peoples are celebrated by all Victorians
  • our universal service systems are inclusive, responsive and respectful of Koorie people at every stage of their learning and development journey
  • every Koorie person achieves their potential, succeeds in life, and feels strong in their cultural identity.

"The Victorian Government, through the Department of Education and Training, has worked with the Victorian Koorie community to develop Marrung. The Government has listened and has heard. Marrung sets out a 10 year vision and identifies the significant actions its achievement. From this plan there will be some ground-breaking change."

Geraldine Atkinson
President
Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated

Working in partnership with Koorie Victorians

Consistent with the principle of self-determination, Marrung has been developed with:

  • Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated
  • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
  • Victorian Community Controlled Health Organisation.

Strong partnerships with these organisations and with the Koorie community will be the foundation for the implementation and governance of Marrung.

Priority areas and actions

To achieve its vision, Marrung encompasses actions that aim to:

  1. Create a positive climate for learning and development where services demonstrate the highest levels of respect and inclusion and, as a result, Koorie children and learners of all ages feel strong in their identity within all services.
  2. Build community engagement in learning and development so that, through partnership and collaboration, services work together with Koorie people to find innovative ways to improve outcomes in local communities.
  3. Build a culture of professional leadership where success for Koorie Victorians is core business for all educational leaders.
  4. Achieve excellence in teaching, learning and development at all stages so that:

    • young Koorie children are on track in their health, development and well-being, and their early learning experience sets them up for life
    • Koorie students engage fully throughout their schooling years and gain the knowledge and skills to excel at Year 12 or its equivalent
    • Koorie learners transition successfully into further education and employment, and have opportunities to access education at all stages of life.

Governance

Annual ministerial roundtable

An annual ministerial Roundtable will be established to monitor the progress of Marrung against key targets and measures, and to identify and respond to emerging issues and priorities.

Alignment with other government initiatives

Marrung aligns with broader state and national strategies and frameworks designed to improve the lives of Koorie Victorians and their communities. These strategies and frameworks inform the targets and measures under Marrung.

Documents

Self-determination in education reform

Overview

A campfire is a place where everyone has a spot to sit; to listen, share and connect with each other. It is a place for storytelling and deep listening.

A state-wide consultation and codesign process commenced in 2022 to develop options to progress Aboriginal self-determination in the education system. The process, framed as ‘Campfire Conversations’, ensured engagement was grounded in storytelling and deep listening, creating a space for sharing stories and insights.

Throughout 2022, over 180 Campfire Conversations brought together  community, young people and schools together to build a shared understanding of what self-determination is and what it means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in education.

The purpose of the Campfires, storytelling and deep listening was to:

  • build and strengthen partnerships between Koorie communities and schools.
  • provide schools with an opportunity to better understand how they can strengthen self-determination in everyday practice.
  • improve attendance, engagement and achievement for Koorie learners.
  • develop a range of changes to improve agency and success for Koorie people in schools.

Final Report

The report below, Strengthening Aboriginal Self-Determination in Education Campfire Conversations: reflections and directions 2022 – 2023, synthesises what was heard through the Campfire Conversations. While the findings and the principles of self-determination are not new to community, the report provides clear direction for education to evolve as a system that includes and empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Conceptual Framework

The following animation provides an overview of the process and the conceptual framework which summarises the key themes that emerged throughout the Campfire Conversations. 

Possum Skin Statements

A Koorie Young People Advisory Group was established, consisting of twelve young people from across Victoria, aged 13-25, to discuss the initiative and the findings from the Campfire Conversations. 

Members generously shared their own stories in response to the feedback, and it was evident that young people share many of the same challenges in education despite their unique stories and journeys. 

The group came up with a list of statements designed to provide teachers with greater insight and disrupt practice that perpetuates the negative experiences reflected in the findings. 

The video below provides an overview of the statements that were included in the final report and their significance to the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. 

For educators

We acknowledge and pay respect to Elders and all Victorian Aboriginal communities. We honour and respect Traditional Owners, past and present, and value the rich culture and history of the First Peoples of this land.

Marrung education scholarships

Marrung education scholarships support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students to complete years 11 and 12. There are 30 scholarships of $5,000 each ($2,500 per year over two years).

The scholarships recognise students who demonstrate a high potential to succeed in their chosen pathway.

Who can apply

Marrung education scholarships are for students who are:

  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • completing year 10 at a Victorian government school
  • planning on completing year 11 and 12 at a Victorian government school.

Application dates

Applications for the Marrung education scholarships are open Monday 2 October 2023 and close Monday 30 October 2023.

How to apply

To apply for a Marrung education scholarship, eligible students need to:

  1. Download and complete the Marrung education scholarship application form
  2. Applications open Monday 2 October 2023. Submit the completed application form to the Koorie Outcomes Division, DET by Monday 30 October 2023.
  3. Email applications to marrung@education.vic.gov.au with the email subject: Marrung Scholarships [insert full name of applicant and school].

Selection process

A selection panel made up of representatives from the department and the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI) reviews applications and selects the 20 successful applicants. Selection is based on the following criteria:

  • involvement in the Aboriginal community
  • year 10 results
  • school reports
  • potential to succeed in a chosen pathway
  • references from school and community representatives.

More information

Read more about the scholarships including how to get help in completing the application, the school's role and the use of the funds in the Marrung scholarships guidelines (DOCX, 1MB).

Contact marrung@education.vic.gov.au.

Secretary's Marrung Awards

The Secretary's Marrung Awards are an action of the department's Aboriginal Employment Plan 2019-2026. The awards provide an opportunity to recognise good practice in Aboriginal education and inclusion. Through recognition of practices, projects and innovations that promote self-determination and inclusion from within the Department of Education we inspire others and celebrate success. 

The awards celebrate the unique knowledge and skills that Aboriginal staff bring to the department, and the work of allies who walk alongside, to create better educational outcomes for Aboriginal students. This may be in roles that focus on communications, policy, program delivery, student support, teaching, allied health, or leadership.

The inaugural awards were held in June 2022.

Visit Secretary's Marrung Awards  to learn about the inspiring winners.

Contact marrung@education.vic.gov.au.

Promoting participation and engagement for Koorie learners in VET

The Department, in partnership with VAEAI, has authored a discussion paper that outlines our plans to implement Marrung action 8a:

“Develop options for a revised approach to supporting Koorie learners engage and participate successfully in VET [including] through the redesign of the existing Koorie VET workforce”

Visit Engage Victoria to read and respond to the discussion paper, and to find out how to engage in a regional consultation near you.

Contact us

Koorie Outcomes Division, marrung@edumail.vic.gov.au.

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