A groundbreaking project that examines ancient Aboriginal cultural usage of Bathurst’s famous Mount Panorama racing circuit and its relevance to the modern industry of motor racing on the mountain.
The program, Wahluu Racing Team, honours the Wiradyuri name for their traditional male initiation mountain, Wahluu.
It is a major collaboration between the Bathurst Wiradyuri & Aboriginal Community Elders group, the Department of Education’s video conference hub DART Connections, project coordinators The Project Zone, and industry representatives from the graphic design, cultural tourism, catering & media.
The Wahluu Program consists of a series of project-based learning modules clustered around the central concept of initiation, responsibility and respect, with comparisons drawn between ancient and modern corrections to reinforce pride in culture and the relevance of Aboriginal knowledges and practices with modern societal applications. The program signposts paths to both employment and tertiary study (TAFE & university) through exposure to a range of curriculum based learning modules, industry relevant skills development opportunities and aces to the creative arts. The program utilises a variety of learning and teaching options including web based, video conferencing and face to face delivery.
The program sets its foundations, subject matter and educational content examining the Wiradjuri roots including local totems and songlines before moving to modern applications. Participants are educated in local culture and modern practise, for example, our media module starts with an examination of message sticks, ancient symbols and motifs, and embedded meaning through dance and song, before examining modern media practices and skills. Students then cover a range of topics including STEM, graphic design, hospitality, tourism, event management, costume design, media /communications, and explore each subject’s ancient Wiradjuri equivalents and their connections to signposted tertiary and employment outcomes. A wide range of media & STEM/STEaM skills form the core of the program, and completion of the units help break down students' natural aversion to TAFE and university as a post Year 10 possibility. This in turn means less students leaving school early with almost inevitable unemployment outcomes.
As part of the program, participant schools each own a simulator networked with other schools, allowing students to race other teams from other participating high schools on a virtual racetrack of Mount Panorama / Wahluu. Racing teams earn time on the Mt Panorama virtual track through attendance, participation, dedication, behaviour and completion of module tasks. This is designed to allow greater participation for disengaged students in a format that respects and values all students. The project seeks to encompass an institution-wide approach that is comprehensive, integrated and coordinated through the curriculum. As cited by the Mitchell Institute, currently the vast differences in educational opportunity across socio-economic groups challenge Australia’s claims of an education system that is fair and competitive by international standards, and stresses that systems must identify ways to connect those young people most in need with the education providers who are best able to support them.
WRT aims to educationally revitalise rural and remote areas by utilising its VC infrastructure to deliver a low-cost, zero carbon footprint, highly interactive model incorporating inclusive learning environments and strategies that will focus on student learning outcomes and successes. Our vision is to help overcome a lack of access to educational services by disengaged students in rural/remote areas. As identified by the Mitchell Institute (Educational Opportunities in Australia 2015),