Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology

PacifiCrim Series: Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Welcome to the first instalment of a new PacifiCrim series that aims to highlight innovative approaches to teaching and learning across our discipline in Australia and New Zealand. The following is an excerpt taken from the Griffith School of Criminology and Criminal Justice newsletter, about the art of creative assessment in the BCCJ program.

“We’ve come to the end of another hectic trimester and one of the most rewarding aspects has been seeing the amazing work our students have produced across the various courses. One example is illustrated in the creative assessments produced by our students in the brand-new course 3031CCJ First Nations and Justice which is a third-year elective that has been designed and delivered for the first time this year by Dr Krystal Lockwood, with significant contributions by Madeleine Bennett and Deb Woodbridge.

The assessment consisted of a Portfolio where students were given tasks that allowed them to critically analyse First Nations topics and content throughout the trimester. One of the tasks allowed students to consider the perspectives of people and communities depicted within media sources. Students considered a media piece about Kumanjayi Walker and had the option to be creative in their analyses. One student, Rebekah Ruddy (Surha), wrote, composed, and recorded a beautfiul song we wanted to share with our readers.

The song Stick to the Script (2022), was inspired by the ongoing Justice for Walker campaign. The song sets the scene in the remote community of Yuendumu, where Kumanjayi Walker and his family are mourning the loss of his grandfather. The tone shifts to indicate the unending grief experienced by Kumanjayi Walker’s family after the police killing of Kumanjayi Walker on the day of his grandfather’s funeral. It reveals how families were left distraught and unaware of the welfare of Kumanjayi Walker, and how the police at the time ignored Walker’s family. The song fast forwards to 2022, when the screening of the controversial 7 NEWS documentary meant the Kumanjayi’s family had to relive the trauma of watching Kumanjayi Walker’s fatal arrest on national television. The song highlights how 7 NEWS’ limited interaction with Walkers’ Family showed bias in their reporting.  It also highlights the producer who told a Walpiri Elder to ‘stick to the script’ in their recorded interview. Overall, the song critically emphasises the absence of appropriate and meaningful justice in the case of Kumanjayi Walker.

We’d like to thank Rebekah for showcasing her creativity and critical reflection in this assessment piece, and for allowing us to share Stick to the Script.

You can listen to Rebekah’s piece below.

If you have any student work, or innovative teaching practice you wish to share as part of this series, please get in contact with