Department of Education

Aboriginal Education

Aboriginal Education


What is the Aboriginal Perspectives Across the Curriculum (APAC) project?

APAC is a project that aims to broaden and deepen students' and teachers' understanding of Aboriginal cultures and ways of being. Teaching APAC will assist all students to be able to look at the world from an Aboriginal viewpoint and understand the different Aboriginal points of view on a range of issues such as reconciliation, social justice and equality.

Why was APAC developed?

The APAC project has been developed to provide teachers and schools with a wide range of resources to enable them to improve the academic performance of Aboriginal students. It will also provide resources that will assist teachers to implement Aboriginal Studies in their classroom.

All Department of Education staff are obliged to undertake cultural awareness training. The APAC site contains resources, links and further information that will support staff to meet their obligations.

So what is APAC?

Teaching Aboriginal perspectives involves assisting your students to be able to look at the world from an Aboriginal point of view and understanding the different Aboriginal points of view on a range of issues. Different issues and viewpoints affect people in different ways; we need to start from, and keep in mind, a cultural aspect. Aboriginal culture should be valued in your curriculum and Aboriginal cultures should be recognised as entities in themselves. There are many cultures valued in schools, Italian, Polish and others, and it is important also to look at things from an Aboriginal point of view instead of always coming from the dominant culture. Alison Motlik

APAC can be implemented in three alternative ways:

  • as an Aboriginal Studies subject (as semester, term or year long courses), either following State-approved courses or using school-based courses;
  • Aboriginal Studies units and topics which are part of another subject (a term or less), such as Aboriginal literature and language in English, Aboriginal land rights, Aboriginal visual arts;
  • Aboriginal perspectives integrated, as appropriate, into units of work taught in a wide range of learning areas throughout all years of schooling, such as Aboriginal knowledge of astronomy in science; Aboriginal people and mining and/or the law in Studies of Society and Environment; Aboriginal perspectives in maths.

It is important that students learn not just about but from Aboriginal people (in person, by phone or through recommended books, video...). Adele Pring

Aboriginal Perspectives Across the Curriculum, South Australian Department for Education) ©apacsa


Few of the 250 Aboriginal languages in use at the time of colonisation were written down until fairly recently and many words have a number of equally acceptable spellings. Where possible, we have tried to adopt consistent spelling throughout the APAC site. For example, the spelling of Noongar words is based upon the Noongar Dictionary compiled by Rose Whitehurst which was based on the orthography agreed at Marribank in 1997.


The APAC project has drawn upon expertise and content from a wide range of people: from the Aboriginal Education Branch; from regional offices; from schools and universities; and from the community. Their contributions are all gratefully acknowledged.

The APAC websites were developed by the Centre for Learning Technology at The University of Western Australia. The APAC lessons were edited by Alwyn Evans.


All contents copyright Government of Western Australia, unless otherwise stated.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this site may contain images of people who are deceased.

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