MATSITI 2012 Conference

Teachers are deadly! National conference on Indigenous education

The inaugural Teachers are deadly! national conference in Adelaide on July 9-11 was attended by 200 delegates from all states and territories, representing over 80 First Nations.

Education departments in the Northern Territory, New South Wales and South Australia provided additional support for groups of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers in their state system to attend.

Conference convenor, UniSA’s Dean of Indigenous Scholarship, Engagement and Research, Professor
Peter Buckskin says the inaugural conference was designed to plan effective Indigenous teacher workforce strategies within the school sector.

“With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students making up around five per cent of the school population, it is now more important than ever to increase the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers beyond the current one per cent of the teaching workforce”. Prof Buckskin says.

Indigenous keynote speakers included:

  • Professor Konai Thaman, UNESCO Chair of Teacher Education
    Reclaiming a place: teachers and the education of Indigenous people in Oceania
  • Dr Chris Sarra, Executive Director, Stronger Smarter Institute
    How will you be remembered as a teacher?
  • Ms Leanne Otene, Principal, Manaia View School, New Zealand
    Tu Kotahi Tatou: Standing together to make a difference
  • Ms Judith Ketchell, Executive Principal, Tagai State College (Torres Strait)
    Navigating a course for successful school leadership
  • Mr Corey Warrior, Teacher, Craigmore High School, Adelaide
    Teaching: a deadly profession
  • Professor Paul Chandler, Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong
    Nurturing, enabling and sustaining our people into the profession of teaching

Feedback from conference delegates

Realising there are a lot more Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people so passionate about education & improving outcomes for our children.

The fire in the tummy has been rekindled

Having been in the education game for 32 years, it’s good to see a major shift from the emotive – deficit model to being pro-active. It’s also refreshing to see lots of younger teachers with can-do attitudes.

Networking and sharing has inspired me to aim higher and not settle for less; to become the change I want to see.

As a school leader, I listened to the speakers and was able to reflect on what my school does and what can be done better. Look out everyone… here I come!

For more information on the MATSITI ‘Teachers are Deadly’ conference and project, go to or contact the MATSITI Project Team on 08 83020036

edutech is project managing the $7.5m Initiative and convened the event management team.