CUS Training

MGC receives CUST, Community Understanding and Safety Training from Inspirational Koorie Women

MGC staff were fortunate to receive two hours with Sonja and Shakira, two of the department’s Koorie Engagement Support Officers, or KESOs , who delivered our MGC CUST, Community Understanding and Safety Training. They were able to tell anecdotes from their own life to help staff understand what it means to be Koorie. Sonja and Shakira explained how lucky they were as they grew up a strong culture full of aunties and uncles. They are proud to share their history; this fills their cup, despite the sadness. 


One of the things staff learnt about was intergenerational trauma. From The Healing Foundation we heard of pre-colonial life and post-colonial life: We knew where we were and who we were …….with strong hearts until the change came. Once this change came, Knowledge, language and identity were denied. Children were stolen, experiencing physical, social and sexual abuse the effects of which are still felt. Passing on intergenerational trauma has occurred but by returning to culture positive intergenerational trauma can be healed. Here is a link

Koorie culture is 60,000 years old. Pre-colonialization saw a diversity of languages.  250 languages and over 40 in Victoria. The people did not roam aimlessly; they lived in permanent and semi-permanent areas. 


What can we do? The Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan 2016 – 2026 hopes to close the gap of educational achievement between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people. Sonja and Shakira explained that just flying the Aboriginal flag, which MGC does proudly,  makes Aboriginal people feel safe, that their values are respected and included. 

At MGC we want to ensure that Aboriginal perspectives are included in our curriculum. 

Thanks Sonja and Shakira for delivering this to our staff. 


Shaunagh O’Connell

Assistant Principal 10-12