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Reflecting on NAIDOC Week

NEWS 18 Aug 2021

During Week 4, NAIDOC Week was celebrated by our community. This year’s theme, Heal Country, was reflected upon and addressed by our staff and students across the School, in a variety of ways, both within the classroom and via a range of activities, incursions and excursions. Symbolically, the week began with two assemblies, one for our older students and another for the younger cohort. This helped frame the week and this year’s theme for our students.

A powerful and challenging Welcome to Country was presented by our Cultural Advisor, Aunty Bilawara Lee. The assembly was punctuated by a beautiful song about Country, called Bellamy by Larrakia artist, Lena Kellie. Our younger students were Welcomed by Larrakia students Lalwa May and Ebanie Wauchope and listened to our Aboriginal Liaison and Larrakia Woman, Kristy Hayes, reflect on the importance of NAIDOC to the Larrakia. To conclude both assemblies, a cleansing and healing Smoking Ceremony was conducted by Trent Lee. He was very pleased with the level of positive engagement and understanding from the students throughout the Smoking Ceremony.

It is very pleasing to note the growth in the scope of activities that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, identities and cultures since Haileybury Rendall School began. As a school, we have an obligation to inform our young cohort of the lives, histories and achievements of the First Australians. We are excited by the possibilities that will be extended to our students in the future.