TAFE Western’s Bangamalanha Conference has been hailed a huge success by organisers, speakers and participants alike.
Held in Dubbo from August 15-17, the Bangamalanha Conference (Bangamalanha meaning to ‘share with each other’) brought more than 150 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people from across the country together to focus on better outcomes for Indigenous post-school education.
Conference Coordinator Tenesha Bell was thrilled with the success of the conference, building on the traction gained from a successful inaugural conference held in 2014.
“Overall the feedback we have received has been really positive,” Ms Bell said. “It was great that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people came to the conference with an open mind, learnt a lot from our fantastic speakers and hopefully left with lots of great ideas that will benefit our peoples when it comes to education and training.”
Ms Bell said some of the highlights of the conference included a rousing address from First Assistant Secretary, Principal Advisor, Indigenous Affairs at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Kerrie Tim and Monday evening’s conference opening that included an amazing traditional smoking ceremony.
“It was also hard to go past the conference dinner on Tuesday night featuring Australia’s most famous Aboriginal chef Mark ‘The Black’ Olive,” Ms Bell said.
“Mark worked with a small group of TAFE Western Indigenous Commercial Cookery students from Wilcannia to prepare a native bush feast that captured the real spirit and meaning of this conference.”
Latrobe University Professor Mark Rose, Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy and Education, was the final keynote speaker and was full of praise for the conference.
“Education is very important and to see so many people at the conference coming together and sharing, which is the meaning of this conference is great,” he said.
“This conference really is sensational – it’s one of the best I have been too and I’ve been to a lot and have the t-shirts at home to prove it.”
For images and more information from the conference, visit TAFE Western’s Facebook page.