Isaiah Firebrace presents petition for Aboriginal history lessons in schools at Parliament House

Firebrace believes Aboriginal history lessons should be a compulsory part of the school curriculum

Singer Isaiah Firebrace has presented his petition for Aboriginal history to be taught in Australian schools at Parliament House.

The petition – which Firebrace, a Yorta Yorta-Gunditjmara man, began via Change.org a year ago – is calling on the Australian government to implement Aboriginal history classes in primary and secondary schools across the country. Firebrace believes the education system needs “the true history of Australia and its First Nations people being taught in Aussie schools” and urges the “Australian government to make Aboriginal history compulsory as a part of the school curriculum”, according to the petition’s description on Change.org.

Today, Firebrace’s petition has been accepted at Parliament House by Labor’s Shadow Minister for Education, Tanya Plibersek, along with Labor MPs Linda Burney and Graham Perrett.

Advertisement

Speaking with News Breakfast from outside Parliament House in Canberra this morning, Firebrace said of the initiative: “I think it’s a huge part of being Australian. I feel like it would give so much value to First Nations people and a huge amount of respect.”

Presenter Michael Rowland asked Firebrace about whether he thought an expansion of education into Aboriginal history would lead to “more respect and less prejudice in Australia”, to which Firebrace replied: “That is the biggest dream, to close that gap, to keep fighting for Indigenous rights and help my people be seen.”

At the time of writing, Firebrace’s Change.org petition has received 290,000 signatures since it first launched a year ago. His petition, per a press statement, was linked with another calling for the same change, begun by Aboriginal woman, Kalka Jean.

After delivering his petition, Firebrace – who won the sixth season of Australian X-Factor and represented Australia at Eurovision in 2017 – gave a performance of the national anthem in English and in language.

Advertisement

In a press statement, Change.org Australia Country Director, Nic Holas, said: “It’s heartening to see more than 285,000 Australians sign petitions calling for an authentic history of Australia to be taught in schools.

“We’re so proud to support Isaiah with his petition as he uses his platform to bring people together with this urgent issue.”

Advertisement
Advertisement