Jacinta Collins, the executive director of the National Catholic Education, said the Catholic sector supported the review’s intent to produce a curriculum that “focuses on essential knowledge and skills.”
“In relation to potential changes to the teaching of Christian heritage, we would be concerned if broadening the curriculum to be more encompassing of other faiths and the teaching of Indigenous culture and history comes at the expense of Judeo-Christian heritage,” Collins told The Epoch Times.
“Humanities is richly connected to Christian faith and morals through art, music, literature, history, philosophy, etc., and this should remain a vital part of the national curriculum,” Collins said.
Nick Carter, executive director of the Menzies Research Centre, wrote an op-ed in The Australian harshly criticising the “airbrushing” of Western culture from the national curriculum.
He said that the “glaring omissions” of these concepts and references explains why the civics syllabus failed to contextualise Australian values or recognise their importance properly.
Carter also said he believed the draft did little to declutter and help teachers navigate the current curriculum—one aspect of what the review originally sought to do.
Criticism from Indigenous AustraliansAn example of how the draft fails to prioritise content properly is the inclusion of indigenous maths into the curriculum, where children will learn how Aboriginal cultures calculated.
Indigenous education academic at the Australian Catholic University Anthony Dillon told 3AW radio that he did not even know what Aboriginal maths was but welcomed the greater focus on Aboriginal history.
Jacinta Price, councillor of Alice Springs, criticised the draft for leaving Aboriginal history “open to complete misinterpretation and manipulation.”
Indigenous leader Warren Mundine said he had concerns that the new curriculum reflected the “dumbing down” of the education system, adding that the authors were trying to insert “critical race theory” into the classroom.
He also criticised the use of the term “First Nations” to describe Aboriginal communities, saying it was a term from Canada and had little relation to Australia.