In 2016-17, 90 students from Sydney University took part in four service-learning placements in three Aboriginal community-controlled organisations – Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly in western NSW, and the Tiwi Islands Regional Council and the Gundjheimi Aboriginal Corporation in the Northern Territory. Students came from a range of disciplines.
Students undertook projects the communities wanted – for example, in western NSW, the community wanted to reduce energy costs, and students worked with them to identify possible solutions, then build the solution desired – a bank of solar panels.
Mark and Megan are working with Sydney University to evaluate the service-learning project. We want to find out:
- What was the impact of the service-learning project on the students and the communities involved?
- With regard to cultural competence, what went well and what didn’t?
- How could the project be improved?
We are using the framework of Ngaa-bi-nya, which Megan developed. Ngaa-bi-nya is an evaluation framework that respects the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and organisations.