Kangaroo Island Community Education SA
Implementing strategies to build Asia capability
Kangaroo Island Community Education (KICE) is a multi-campus education provider, catering for the learning needs of young children through to adults. While Indonesian language was introduced for secondary students at KICE sixteen years ago, more recently implementation of a range of creative activities and programs has seen Asia capability grow from being virtually non-existent to being part of the school’s everyday life.
A whole school focus on Asia
In building demand for studies of Asia, one of KICE’s major successes has been to have a whole school focus on the Asian region. Every year, this includes professional learning for staff and excursions and activities with an Asia theme. For example, an activity may be an Asian film festival or a visit to the Kangaroo Island Buddhist Centre.
Annual Asian Market
In addition, KICE holds an annual Asian Market, which is the culmination of the schools’ Asia focus in Term 3. The Asian Market is led by the students and includes stalls from local Sri Lankan, Maori, Indonesian and Philippine groups. The market is enormously popular with families in the school community.
Another significant achievement has been the making of a bilingual documentary to help students make connections between Australia and Asia and boost intercultural understanding. Through a grant, students were assisted in creating the bilingual documentary entitled Two rivers, two islands, ONE FUTURE. The documentary examines two rivers – one on Kangaroo Island and the other on Sumatra, Indonesia’s largest island.
The documentary featured interviews with Kangaroo Islanders and their Indonesian counterparts, as well as the Indonesian environmental activist, Pak Jumaadi, who visited the school. The documentary won the South Australian Department of Education and Children’s Services ‘New Media Award’ in 2010.
Exchanges and visits
Exchanges and visits are other strategies successfully used by KICE to increase levels of Asia capability.
Profits from the 2011 annual Asian Market were put towards scholarships for two student to travel to Cambodia for sixteen days and build houses with Habitat for Humanity.
"The scholarships have brought so much back to the school," says Indonesian Language Teacher, Kris Hondow. "The students were very excited: they have generated so much enthusiasm for the project that they want to go back to Cambodia when they finish school. The local community has become involved, with the Kangaroo Island Yacht Club planning to promote the market and help raise money for next year’s scholarship."
AIYEP (Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Programe) approached KICE to host 18 Indonesian students for three and a half weeks.
“For rural families on Kangaroo Island,” says Hondow, “that was a really great breakthrough. Students and their parents are still telling me about what they learned about Indonesia, and that they are still in contact with the students who stayed with them.”
As enthusiasm for Asia capability and studies of Asia grows, KICE hopes to expand their range of Asia-focused activities. The school is planning to develop an art exhibition in collaboration with a local artists’ group, based on the colours of Kangaroo Island and the colours of Asia. Consideration is being given to how the school can tap into the growing tourism market from India and China.
The outcome from all of these initiatives is that Asia capability is embedded into the life of KICE. Students, their families, staff, the school leadership. Even the wider community have embraced learning about Asia.
The development of the Two rivers, two islands, ONE FUTURE bilingual documentary was supported through funding from the Federal Government’s Becoming Asia Literate Grants Programme.