I am a secondary English/history teacher originally from Canberra, ACT. I am currently leading Big Picture Education (project-based learning) at Silkwood School on the Gold Coast Hinterland. I am of Aboriginal and Welsh descent. My Aboriginal family are Wiradjuri people from Dubbo, NSW. My Welsh family are primarily from Swansea, South Wales.
I have completed a BA Honours on the representations of Indigenous people in Australian and New Zealand teenage literature. I have also studied Aboriginal literacy education through my Master of Education.
I have completed the Stronger Smarter Leadership Program (2015) and the Stronger Smarter Facilitator Training (2017).
I was on the executive committee for the ACT Association for the Teaching of English from 2006-2017, fulfilling various roles from National delegate on AATE council to Journal editor, Vice President and, in my final role, President.
In each school I have worked at, I have been involved in some way with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, from running homework centres to being a member of Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) committees and presenting professional development to staff about bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into the curriculum. I began leading the roll-out of 8 ways education across ACT Public Schools in 2018, just prior to my appointment at Silkwood School, QLD.
This blog is primarily about literacy education but I am happy to talk to teachers from any discipline who are looking for ways to bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into the curriculum.
Cara Shipp in other publications:
Featured article Literacy Learning in the Middle Years Journal, 2013
Press article, Bell Shakespeare Schools’ competition: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/theatre/bell-shakespeare-schools-festivals-macbeth-feast-20141028-11cxmm.html
Press article, new pedagogy in Centre for Indigenous students at Campbell High School:
I have written several units for Reading Australia with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander perspectives:
Melissa Lucashenko, Too Much Lip, for Yr 11/12
– in publication
Sue McPherson, Grace Beside Me, for Year 8
Ruby Ginibi Langford, Don’t take your love to town, for Year 12
Les Murray, Collected Poems, for Year 11
Ellen van Neerven’s Heat and Light, for Years 9-12
2017 Australian Education Union ACT Branch Reconciliation Award
2016 Leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education in the ACT Public Education Awards: Celebrating Excellence
Cara-Jane Shipp (known as Cara) is currently SLC in charge of Year 8, English, Humanities and Languages Faculties and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs, at Wanniassa P-10 School. Her previous leadership role was SLC of the Tuggeranong Network Achievement Centre. Her BA (Hons) featured research on the representations of Indigenous people in Australian and New Zealand teenage literature, and her Master of Education focussed on Aboriginal literacy education. Cara has completed the Stronger Smarter leadership training and delivered professional development for the ACT Education Directorate and nationally on Indigenous matters.
She decided she wanted to be a teacher as a child and has acknowledged her father’s influence as a passionate advocate for the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through education. One of Cara’s many strengths is working with young Indigenous people with low literacy levels. She suggests that “it is often poor literacy that leads kids to disengage; they can’t understand what is going on and can’t access the curriculum”.
Another is her enduring commitment to establishing high-expectations relationships with all students she works with – this approach is fundamental to her successful teaching and mentoring of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at Wanniassa School and the other schools and settings she has worked in.”
2016 Australian Education Union Arthur Hamilton Award for Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
2013 Certificate of Excellence in Educational Leadership, Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACT)