This year, NAIDOC Week was celebrated during Term 4, Week 5, at the College. NAIDOC Week is a time to recognise and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week was ‘Always Was, Always Will Be. This theme recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.
To celebrate this important week, we had an Aboriginal prayer along with a video on ‘what is NAIDOC week’ on Monday morning. We were lucky to welcome Betty Garlett, a local Aboriginal Elder, to perform a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony in our firepit as the official opening of the College Reconciliation garden. The ceremony was live streamed around the College. A whole school BBQ was held for students and staff to try some kangaroo meat, whilst enjoying a dance performance choreographed by the College Dance teacher, Rebecca Charleston. The students performed to a beautiful song by Flume featuring the great Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu called ‘A Buru In New York’.
Displayed around the college were words in both Noongar, and English, for students to learn, while some traditional weapons and artifacts were on display in Student Services and the Reading Lounge.
Thank you to all of the staff and our community members that helped make this year’s NAIDOC Week moorditj (amazing).
Emmanuel Catholic College will continue to walk together as one in reconciliation with all and continue to learn and acknowledge the rich history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Mrs Anita Jackman-Davey
Aboriginal and Islander Liaison Officer