Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures Illustrations of practice

Cultural competencies and business acumen through Aboriginal Business Enterprise


Balga Senior High School is a government school located 20km north of the Perth CBD on the traditional lands of the Whadjuk People. The School has a total enrolment of 525 students, of whom 24% are Aboriginal.

This illustration of practice highlights the development of cultural competencies and business acumen in Aboriginal students in Years 8-10.

OI3: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have holistic belief systems and are spiritually and intellectually connected to the land, sea, sky and waterways.

OI5: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ ways of life are uniquely expressed through ways of being, knowing, thinking and doing.

OI6: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples live in Australia as first peoples of Country or Place and demonstrate resilience in responding to historic and contemporary impacts of colonisation.

Literacy (Level 6)

  • Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing | Interpret and analyse learning area text | interpret and evaluate information within and between texts, comparing and contrasting information using comprehension strategies

Numeracy (Level 6)

  • Estimating and calculating with whole numbers | Use money | evaluate financial plans to support specific financial goals

ICT capability (Level 6)

  • Investigating with ICT | Locate, generate and access data and information | use advanced search tools and techniques or simulations and digital models to locate or generate precise data and information that supports the development of new understandings

Critical and creative thinking (Level 6)

  • Generating ideas, possibilities and actions | Seek solutions and put ideas into action | assess risks and explain contingencies, taking account of a range of perspectives, when seeking solutions and putting complex ideas into action

Personal and social capability (Level 6)

  • Social awareness | Contribute to civil society | plan, implement and evaluate ways of contributing to civil society at local, national regional and global levels
  • Social management | Make decisions | develop and apply criteria to evaluate the outcomes of individual and group decisions and analyse the consequences of their decision making

Intercultural understanding (Level 6)

  • Recognising culture and developing respect | Investigate culture and cultural diversity | analyse how membership of local, regional, national and international groups shapes identities including their own

Work Studies (Year 9)

Skills for learning and work | Learning to Learn

  • Identify the attitudes and skills required for self-directed and lifelong learning (ACWSCL003)
  • Explain the importance of active and lifelong learning for personal and community development (ACWSCL004)
  • Plan and implement strategies and processes to improve their learning and enhance the potential to realise their aspirations and personal wellbeing (ACWSCL005)

Skills for learning and work | Work Skills

  • Investigate a wide range of occupations, and the skills and personal qualities required in these fields (ACWSCL006)
  • Identify types of workplace communication and the effect of context on the choice of communication (ACWSCL007)
  • Differentiate between work-related and personal use of social media (ACWSCL008)

Skills for learning and work | Entrepreneurial Behaviours

  • Identify types of entrepreneurial behaviours and their opportunities for application to 21st century work and enterprise (ACWSCL010)
  • Explain how the application of entrepreneurial behaviours can address a range of work and community challenges and provide benefits personally and to the community (ACWSCL011)

Practise the skills and attributes underpinning entrepreneurial behaviours (ACWSCL012)

What are the benefits of the school linking with the local peak Aboriginal body in the development of this program?

Students are learning about their culture but also how to share it with others. What are some of the implications of this approach?

The focus on the general capabilities is a feature of this program. What might be the long term benefits for students?

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