Jacqui Katona, arts & education – Moondani Balluk Aboriginal Academic Unit
Jacqui Katona is a lecturer in Aboriginal history and politics with Moondani Balluk. A Djok woman from the Kakadu area of Northern Territory, Jacqui has worked for decades as an advocate, including assisting her family to prevent uranium mining at Jabiluka in Kakadu National Park. With Yvonne Margarula, of the Mirrar, she shares the Goldman Environmental Prize for Island Nations 1999.
What are some of the challenges of remote learning, & how have you overcome them?
During the first remote block we were all adjusting and it was harder to stay engaged. But students have become more confident with Zoom, to a point where now I need to reinforce they raise their hand or speak through the chat function! I’m hearing more and more thoughtful and insightful comments.
How else do you engage students early on?
We explore some complex issues and a lot of critical analysis is needed. Some people are unsure of the right thing to say, so in week one we do myth busting and stereotype smashing. We set boundaries and discuss cultural identity and acceptance of different cultures which helps build trust.
When does remote learning shine?
Through Zoom, I use documentary and film excerpts to tell stories and share historical and personal experiences of Aboriginal people. We watch together and discuss during class. Integrating visual learning with the discussion has continued to work well.
How do you stay motivated as a teacher?
Like everyone, I accept that some days are better than others – but it’s important to keep sharing these lessons with students who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to learn them. When students are passionate about becoming participants in positive change I know I’m making a difference.