NAIDOC Week 2018

Wow, what great NAIDOC celebrations we had!

Our week started with listening to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students reading the Acknowledgment of Country. How proud they were standing in front of a great community presence. We welcomed Elders Uncle Ken, Aunty Louisa and Letisha Golding in lighting the candle, followed by a flag ceremony. Our Aboriginal sister Maree Edwards spoke about her life and the theme of NAIDOC 2018 Because of Her We Can. The Year 6 students, with their families, cut the beautiful cake decorated by Rebecca Gale. Then followed the NAIDOC awards and an emotional school presentation on the significant women in our lives. Afterwards, guests shared a special morning tea.

Our special activity this year featured the message stick created by Nan and Pop Simon and Westlake Elders. Students were able to look at the stick, touch the stick and listen to Pop’s message from the stick. Aboriginal students from Years 4–6 visited Bolton Point, Woodrising and Nikinpa Childcare Centres to share the message of the stick. All students now have more knowledge and understanding of this great cultural artefact.

We held a special ceremony for the message stick on Boomerang Mountain as it started the journey to Edgeworth Public School. Nan Simon and Mr Todd Osland, Principal of Edgeworth Public School and proud Wonarrua man, attended. All staff and students attended this special event. I, as the Aboriginal Education Officer, read a personal acknowledgment and poem, which was followed by Lilac and Navy classes singing the national anthem in Awabakal language. Students lined the path to the top of Boomerang Mountain, playing clapsticks and yidaki (didgeridoo) as the message stick was presented to Mr Scully. Nan Simon then received the stick and read Pop’s message to the school community. In farewell, we walked behind Nan Simon, Mr Scully and Mr Osland down Boomerang Mountain as the stick left for Edgeworth Public School.

To finish off the week, Cara Simon from Back to Bush Tucker Tours ran sessions on Boomerang Mountain and highlighted many new plants and their uses. Daniel and Alisha Jack ran dance sessions and Maliyan, Daniel’s son and previous Fennell Bay Public School student, loved helping for the day. Miss Shelley, Mr Preece and Mrs Kibble looked after the damper making. Mr Ford ran artefacts, Mrs Ellis an art activity, Mr Dunlap and Mr Davies the Indigenous Games and Miss Robinson Dreaming stories. Mr Avison cooked a scrumptious BBQ!

Thank you to everyone for a wonderful week!

Story Contributed by Annissa Harwood, Aboriginal Education Officer from Fennell Bay Public School. Published in 2019.