Over a period of 40,000 years, Aboriginal people developed a way of life in Australia that was carefully rooted in a comprehensive system of education - from the cradle to the grave. This life-long education system was planned and delivered by the adult members of the community in a disciplined, caring environment. Whilst the procedures and ways differed widely from conventional European techniques, the purpose and nature of tradition Aboriginal education was just as meaningful as any education system. Recent initiatives at the state and national levels have stimulated Aboriginal aspirations for increased involvement in their own education.
In her Wentworth Lecture, Dr Margaret Valadian discusses the past and future of Indigenous Australian education, from the traditional Aboriginal education system, the impact of European techniques, and the value of increased Aboriginal involvement in education at state and federal level.