This week we have had the privilege to hear from our Learning Hub co-ordinator Cherrilyn Parker about some of the school activities around NAIDOC week. A short conversation she had with Reverend Matthew Pickering led to the addition of the Aboriginal Flag in the chapel and later Reverend Pickering organised and invited Mrs Parker, Portia Crisp-Williams, Jake Grant, Millie Duffy and Flynn Mayes. It is proudly flying on our flagpole in the turning circle.
“NAIDOC Week means so many things to so many people. It’s the Oldest living and continuous culture in the world. It’s a time to stand up and stand proud. For Millie, it meant so much as her Grandmother was part of the stolen generation, Flynn for his Grandmother and Jake Grant for his proud Grandfather. For Portia, several of her family were part of the stolen generation, and for my Grandmother Beverly McDonald (Mansell). Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up and with Reverend Pickering’s help today we did just that. A small step that means so much.”
Ms Parker has ensured that the Learning Hub has a constant supply of indigenous books available for the students all year round. “It is super important to have indigenous literature in our library. It sparks interest and creates conversations about culture, one that is the longest and continuing living culture in the world. The students are given the opportunity to be transported through the Dreamtime and understand how the stars are viewed through other eyes, and the connection to country.”
“First Nations peoples were and always will be connected to this land, the custodians. The rivers and waterways run through the veins of Indigenous Australians. Having indigenous literature gives students a more holistic perspective of our history regarding Indigenous Australia.”
Cherrilyn spent some time speaking to some curious students over lunchtime about the Uluru Statement and taking one of the students through some of the emotions that they may feel in discovering their own Aboriginal Heritage. The warm, honest and open discussion was a testament to Ms Parker’s commitment to equipping our students with their lifelong learning journeys.