Weaving Cultural Experiences
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this story may contain images and names of deceased persons.
CCGS students have continued to have culturally rich experiences throughout the year by learning, respecting and including Aboriginal education in many ways.
In Term 1, class groups wrote their own Acknowledgement of Country to show respect and awareness for the Traditional Custodians of the land. Each unique acknowledgement was created with an accompanying artwork that is displayed in each grade’s neighbourhood area.
Tahmeika in Year 6 explained, "Custodianship was a really important concept we discussed. It was rewarding to help teach our Kindy buddies about this idea as we walked around the School collecting things from Country to display in their classrooms. It was exciting too, to see how enthusiastic they were about all their nature discoveries.”
In Term 2, Reconciliation Week was opened by Mr Jonathan Wright, an Aboriginal educator from Dhinewan Mentoring and ex-NRL player.
A gift of three flags (Aboriginal, Australian, and Torres Strait Islander) was presented and is now displayed in each neighbourhood area to welcome, acknowledge and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures and futures.
Students also created a ‘Reconciliation woollen band’ to wear on their wrists. Students wore those bands home and had a conversation with their families about what Reconciliation means and what we can do in our friendship groups, our communities, and our country, to make Reconciliation happen.
In House Families, students completed a ‘Graffiti Wall’ activity. The activity got students thinking about their voice, and what words they think of when they consider the word Reconciliation. The completed activity was then displayed as a Reconciliation Word Wall in the library foyer.
This year’s NAIDOC theme was ‘For Our Elders’. Across every generation, our Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families.
Each Kindy to Year 6 student wrote about ‘My Elder’, selecting to write about an Elder that has had a positive impact in their life. Grades also studied an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Elder, which was linked with their science or history subject that has continued all term.
The Junior School also celebrated our NAIDOC Week with activities from the Great Book Swap, which raised money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, and a moving Smoking Ceremony with Gamilaroi Elder Aunty Tammy.
An assembly for the whole Junior School focused on celebrating Elders past, present and emerging. Each Kindy to Year 6 student wrote about ‘My Elder’, selecting to write about an Elder that has had a positive impact in their life which was displayed in the Performing Arts Centre Foyer.
“My Elder is my Grandma she taught me how to draw,” Hugo, Year 1.
“My Elder is my mum because she always helps me if I don’t know something. If she doesn’t know the answer she will search it up,” Quinn, Year 5.
“My Elder is Tami. She is from West Bengal in India. Tami means Grandma in Indian. She is a really good drawer. She runs a school in her house," Tia, Year 4.
“My Grandma is my Elder. She teaches me how to cook,” Taylor, Kindy.
Grades also studied an Elder past, present or emerging which was linked with their science or history subject that continued all term.
NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration usually held in July. As the national NAIDOC Week falls in our school holidays, CCGS chose to combine it with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s Great Book Swap.
Aboriginal Cultural Group
Each Wednesday, Gamilaroi Elder Aunty Tammy Wright led a group of Junior School Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through learning, talking and sharing ideas about language, identity and culture.
Students investigated their personal totems, crafted Dhinewan (emu feather) headdresses and explored ideas relating to Reconciliation. Aunty Tammy also led the group through Aboriginal Dreaming stories and Songlines connected to the Darkinjung, Awabakal and Worimi Nations of our region.
Students also learned about Dhinewan (emu) eggs and the beautiful ways they can be carved and decorated within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.