Working together with Aboriginal communities

This toolkit draws upon the 8 Aboriginal Ways of Learning and its natural connection with co-design.

Co-design with Aboriginal communities

The 8 Ways Aboriginal pedagogy is a learning framework that helps us to apply Aboriginal perspectives into our work by using Aboriginal learning techniques. It is based on the use of Aboriginal processes and protocols, as well as Aboriginal content. In this way, we can validate and enhance the learning of all recipients.

There are similarities between mainstream and Aboriginal ways of learning. The 8 Ways framework is expressed as eight interconnected ways of Aboriginal learning.

The 8 Ways and co-design

Working together with Aboriginal people in co-design, we bring Aboriginal perspectives – ways of being, knowing and doing – to the forefront of our co-design process. In this way, we can create and innovate through culture.

Respect is more than tolerance and inclusion; it requires dialogue and collaboration. And when we bring our best and highest ways of learning together, we find we connect at a truly deep and productive level.

The 8 Ways of Learning are explained below in the context of co-design, including links to relevant tools and templates.


The 8 Ways pedagogy framework was developed by Dr Tyson Yunkaporta through his university doctorial research in education. The Knowledge used is owned by the Traditional owners of our land and we pay respects to the keepers of knowledge of Western NSW who own the pedagogies and knowledge we are talking about in this toolkit. We align to, and follow, the protocol in this work that ‘if you take something, you put it back’ – if you use the knowledge of 8 Ways to find new solutions, share them back and make sure they sit within Aboriginal community.

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