News from Aunty Niss

Wow, what a term we have had in Aboriginal Education! Did you know that learning could be so much fun?!

We started this term off with a bang, with Aunty Amanda, Uncle Osca and Nan coming in to make clapsticks with our Year 3 and 4 students. The students learnt how to work as a team in supporting each other to find sticks on our wonderful Boomerang Mountain to use to sandpaper the sticks so no bark was left and the wood was smooth enough to paint.

Over the weeks, we had great conversations about our Aboriginal culture at our school. The students are enjoying making items to keep; they also understand that this is what our ancestors did.

A highlight was when we were able to join in the Harmony Day celebrations at Bolton Point Child Care Centre. The students had a great jam session with the little ones using their own clapsticks!

Years 5 and 6 have been participating in the Deadly Streaming Program, which is delivered by Uncle Craig who is from Newcastle University Family Action Centre. This program looks at Country, identity and careers. This term we went on a site tour of Redhead, Swansea Heads, Belmont Lagoon and Valentine. All the students had a great day, learning about culture. We also visited the Burnt Scar Tree at Glendale Shopping Centre. It was a fun day!!

Lastly, our little ones in Kindergarten to Year 2 have been attending the Aboriginal Cars Program on a weekly basis. They have been learning the school rules and how to be a citizen, what respectful is and how to be a kind person to others. Each time we included Aboriginal perspectives, such as the Yarning Circle. They have enjoyed getting to know each other!!

This term, as a group, we have been learning some Aboriginal dance with the help of Uncle Amos. We learnt his Biraban dance, which we plan to dance at our NAIDOC assembly as well as the Westlakes NAIDOC Day. We hope to do more next term, and include other interested parties as well.

Lastly, some updates on other news for everyone. Karen Wilesmith, Aunty Amanda and I have, with participation from our Aboriginal students, created an Aboriginal shirt for our school. We have sent the designs to the printers and this shirt will be available for everyone to buy if they wish. The students will also be able to wear the shirt one day a week. We will share the design once it is all together.

Next term’s agenda:

This year we will be having our Cultural Experience again at Murrook Cultural Centre. A note will be out shortly to advise you of the cost for the whole day excursion. Year 5 & 6 students will have the opportunity to attend an overnight camp with great cultural experiences there. Murrook is on Worimi Country with the professional Aboriginal people who have a strong cultural knowledge of the area and community.

Yarn Up for parents to showcase the Storylines and Goalhub for your children and help you access this for your viewing.

NAIDOC week celebrations, including Boomerang Mountain spruce-up by community members.

Have a great holiday. We’re looking forward to another busy term ahead!

Story contributed by Annissa Harwood from Fennell Bay Public School. Published in 2019.