News – Educator Award Winner

Kate Mullin Educator Award 2022

The 2022 winners of the Kate Mullin Educator Award were a two-way teaching team who were the outstanding nominees and are very much appreciated by their colleagues and community – Ed Shaw and Marilyn Daylight from Purnululu School at Frog Hollow, Ord River.

Ed and Marilyn, together with the students in the Primary Class, had created an inclusive, positive learning environment based on trust, that encouraged academic challenge.

That year Ed and Marilyn implemented an innovative program called the Trail Cameras Project. It was highly motivating for the primary school students involved and included several On Country trips for them. They used their knowledge of the Gija country to predict where native animals were most likely to be found, and participated in On Country learning trips to set up trail cameras. They reviewed the footage in class, and used it as the focal point for conversations around the animals, their movements and action, foods, seasons and Country itself. The students were able to use their knowledge of Giga culture and Country to engage in rich discussions, which led to them writing more complex sentences and larger texts describing the process of setting up the camera and the animals that were observed, and then reporting where, when and why the animals were located at certain times.

In the classroom Ed and Marilyn students spoke a combination of Kriol and Gija as their first language. They were encouraged to write in whichever language they feel most comfortable, before code-switching this into English. The Gija language is taught by another staff member, and Ed participates in these lessons as a learner alongside the students. This develops his own knowledge of the Gija language while also demonstrating his valuing of it and the Gija culture.