Indigenous wisdom in outdoor programmes: an Australian case study

Palmer, Stefanie (2018) Indigenous wisdom in outdoor programmes: an Australian case study. Masters dissertation, University of Cumbria. Item availability may be restricted.

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Abstract

Reasons for the seeming absence of Australian Indigenous voices in outdoor programmes motivated this qualitative case study, which explored why and how Indigenous wisdom was incorporated in one Australian outdoor programme. The findings were discussed in terms of causes (colonialism and modern culture), effects (societal and environmental), and solutions (authentic delivery by an Indigenous Elder through experiential learning on Country). The findings exposed the heart of the programme framework to be an Indigenous pedagogy of ceremony, which involved the experiential teaching of Indigenous wisdom through its four components of story, song, dance, and art. This model is similar to Ngurra-kurlu of the Warlpiri culture (Pawu-Kurlpurlurnu, Holmes and Box, 2008). The Indigenous wisdom conveyed in the programme was found to inspire moral responsibility for society and environment through learning about interconnected relationships with and of Country. Relating to the world through an Indigenous worldview was a potent and connective part of this transcultural programme for its non-Indigenous participants. The inclusion of Indigenous wisdom in outdoor programmes through partnering with local Indigenous wisdom holders was considered to have decolonising potentials on the colonial anthropocentric origin of outdoor education in Australia that tends to dominate nature and see Indigenous cultures as inferior (Plumwood, 2003). The study therefore supports the literature’s encouragement of such partnerships as best practice (Wattchow and Brown, 2011; Stewart, 2004; Spillman, 2017). The creation of an online network of Indigenous wisdom holders and outdoor programmes seeking to partner with them was recommended. Exploration into Australian Indigenous perspectives of outdoor leadership is proposed to further enrich place-based programmes.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Masters)
Departments: Outdoor Studies
Additional Information: Dissertation presented in part fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Arts in Transcultural European Outdoor Studies, University of Cumbria, 2018.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2018 10:44
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2018 00:00
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3901

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