The event was a collaboration between the Victorian Department of Education and the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated and featured exhibitors from several universities, TAFEs, local employers and First Nations-led organisations.
“We have worked together to put on a Koorie-specific careers and aspirations event for our senior First Nations students across the Goulburn area,” Department of Education senior Koorie education advisor Larissa Falla said.
“We’ve had a really good number of students come through and really great support from local organisations and universities.
“It would always be great to have more people, and more representation, but I’m pretty happy with the way that it is because it is the first.”
The Koorie Big Day Out not only allowed students to interact with exhibitors but also offered panel sessions where elders, community members, student ambassadors and youth mentors shared their experiences and insights.
“’I’m firm believer that you can’t be what you can’t see, and often times, if our First Nations students go to those mainstream careers events, they don’t see that representation,” Ms Falla said.
“That’s why these events are so important because it helps them to see themselves being successful and making deadly choices for their deadly futures.”
Ms Falla said Shepparton was a fitting host for the first Koorie Big Day Out.
“With the largest First Nations community in regional Victoria, it made complete sense for Greater Shepparton and by extension the Goulburn Valley area to be earmarked as a location for Koorie Big Day Out,” she said.
“Our view of education as Indigenous peoples is a bit different; it is a lifelong journey of learning, with a responsibility to carry our elders’ knowledge with us as we grow.”