Josef Tye and Jamil Tye Present to St Leonard’s College Staff on Australian Indigenous Cultures

St Leonard’s College is deeply committed to embedding an authentic First Nations perspective into our teaching and learning. This week our staff were fortunate to hear a presentation by Josef Tye and Jamil Tye.

Josef Tye is a Yorta Yorta Wollithiga man with extensive experience in Aboriginal Affairs across government and the tertiary educational sector. In recent years his career has been focused on Human Resources and the creation of employment opportunities for mob, including organisational Cultural transformation. Josef is a strong advocate for economic inclusion of our First Nations Peoples and believes that for these opportunities to be meaningful, we must ensure the strong health and wellbeing of our communities. Josef is also currently undertaking his postgraduate studies in linguistics (Boon wurrung language).

Jamil Tye is a proud Wollithica man of the Yorta Yorta whose family have been integral to the Aboriginal activism movement throughout Victoria from the 1880’s to the present day. Jamil is an Alumnus of Monash University having completed a Bachelor of Science, before commencing work as a geologist with BHP on their graduate program based in the Pilbara, Western Australia. Jamil returned to Monash to complete a Masters of Teaching (Secondary), combining his studies with employment at the Department of Health and Human Services where he designed, developed and delivered policy, programs and initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of Aboriginal Victorians. Jamil is passionate about providing Indigenous students with educational opportunities that will enable them to be successful graduates and future leaders in their chosen field.

The presentation by Josef and Jamil provided a meaningful and compelling insight into the importance of truth-telling in our country’s historical narrative and the imperative for all Australians to understand our past in order to ensure a united journey forward into the future. Josef and Jamil shared captivating and confronting stories from their own family’s history which humanised the injustice our First Nations peoples have endured. They shared the remarkable knowledge and understanding of our Indigenous peoples in relation to the environment and its sustainable care, and how colonisation and the disregard of ancient wisdom have led to the damage of our native landscape and waterways.

St Leonard’s is committed to ensuring that Indigenous voices are centered and respected, incorporating Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into our curriculum and pedagogy, and working in partnership with Indigenous communities. Our staff were inspired to reflect on the knowledge that Jamil and Josef imparted and how it can be integrated into our College’s existing practices, including working with local Indigenous educators and community members to develop culturally responsive approaches that reflect the unique histories, traditions, and perspectives of the Bunurong people who are the traditional custodians of the land our College resides on.

Ultimately, we recognise that embedding an authentic First Nations perspective into teaching and learning demands persistent dedication and constructive conversations and it is imperative that both educators and learners are open to listening, learning, and actively engaging with Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in a respectful and genuine manner. For a considerable time now, St Leonard’s College has undertaken a series of significant First Nations initiatives aimed at promoting a deeper understanding of Indigenous culture and history and fostering an active commitment to Reconciliation. Recognising the pivotal role of education in this regard, we have endeavoured to ensure that our efforts are substantive and integrated components of our curricular and co-curricular activities. Our initiatives span the entire College, from the Early Learning Centre to year 12. We continue to observe the genuine passion and engagement of our staff and students as they work towards the common goal of advancing their knowledge and comprehension of Indigenous culture and history. We thank Josef and Jamil for their time and for generously sharing their knowledge with our teaching staff this week. It was an enlightening experience for all involved and we look forward to the continued education of our staff, students and community.


Photo above (L-R) features Josef Tye, Lucinda Malgas (St Leonard’s College Director of Wellbeing and Social Action), and Jamil Tye