Oodgeroo of the tribe Noonuccal, Custodian of the land Minjerribah, Peace Prosperity and Healing, Sacred Treaty Circles

Cultural Heritage Education Program (CHEP)

The Cultural Heritage Education Program (CHEP) is the central element to the Treaty Circles. It is relevant to Aboriginal people to strengthen and rebuild their own traditional culture and family sociology as a paradigm for healing and prosperity. The CHEP is the methodology of “the Agenda” The CHEP is also relevant to non-Aboriginal participants in that provides a new “Aboriginal” way for them to understand themselves, their history and their own dreaming as well as the country that they are presently in.

The CHEP was developed inside Boggo Road prison in 1988 by the Incarcerated Peoples Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (IPCHAC). Bejam was the co-ordinator, treasurer and key architect of the CHEP program. It was run by and for Aboriginal prisoners and was one of the few programs that responded to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

Oodgeroo was one of the principle lecturers in the IPCHAC CHEP. At Moongalba she lectured prisoners on day release and provided much of the spiritual leadership for the CHEP program.

The CHEP program has also been presented to university students, community activists and researchers.

Areas covered in the CHEP program include anthropology, archaeology, sociology, psychology, law, history and economic development – all within indigenous knowledge frameworks and ways of teaching/learning.

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