Elinor Archer

Position Indigenous Contact Officer and Classroom teacher
Organisation Dickson College
Location ACT

As a proud Palawa woman, with connections to Oyster Bay and Ben Lomond Country in North-East lutruwita (Tasmania) who grew up on Ngunnawal Country, Elinor is passionate about two things within education: first and foremost, is to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth to complete their educational goals and aspirations; and secondly, giving all Australian students the opportunity to listen to and learn from the oldest continuing culture and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within their education system.

She believes the community must come first. In all her pursuits from her early days as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator for several Aboriginal and Government organisations, to her current role in education, community is front and centre. For the past 6 years, Elinor has been a classroom teacher and Indigenous Contact Officer at Dickson College, here in the ACT. Her teaching areas include Design, Architecture, Photography and Visual Arts, as well as recently writing and introducing the new Indigenous Cultures and Languages Major for tertiary and accredited students in year 11 and 12.

Elinor makes sure to use her community networks and connections to improve pathways planning for my Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as well as other Aboriginal teachers. She is an active member of the Indigenous Staff Network and has mentored several other Aboriginal teachers as well as tutoring undergraduate Indigenous educators for many years at the Australian Catholic University. She has led senior executive and other teachers in action inquiry to explore how support programs and cultural awareness in teaching programs within the College can be improved and has written published documents in Oxford Educational textbooks and Education Directorate publications. In recognition of her leadership, strong connection to community, and responsiveness as an educator, she was honoured to be invited to contribute to new directions in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education by both the ACT Minister for Education and ACT Director General of Education. She spoke at the Department of Education’s panel event, Reconciliation: Taking the Next Step, and was instrumental in the steering committee developing the ACT’s Indigenous Cultures and Languages Course with the BSSS and Ngunnawal Elders Council. Elinor was honoured to be awarded an ACT Public Education Award for Leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education in 2017 and was named a finalist for NAIDOC Person of the Year and NAIDOC Artist of the Year in 2019.

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