NAIDOC Week celebrations included a wide range of activities, such as, Robbie the mechanoid talking Noongar after being programmed by students, guided bush walks and a smoking ceremony with Neville Collard and bush walks for Kindy students who discovered Australian animals in our bushland! Many thanks to everyone who made this special week a great success in terms of recognising and celebrating the cultures and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
NAIDOC Week celebrates the cultures and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to our country. This year these celebrations have taken many forms, from guided bush walks by Neville Collard, Noongar Elder, to NAIDOC Week stalls run by the Mentors.
Today Neville Collard, Noongar Elder, visited the school to conduct guided bush walks with five classes. Neville also led a national Yarning Circle conversation via zoom, which included the Year 6s. The students were engaged by Neville’s depth of knowledge and they asked excellent questions.
In Digital Technologies, Ivy, Harrison, Kalani and Fujiko from Room 10, with the assistance of Marc Kaye from CSIRO Scientists In Schools, programmed Robbie the Robot to say an Acknowledgement to Country and to teach the other students at school some Noongar words. You can watch the video here. Thanks to Marc for sharing his expertise with our students. Students are also getting to have an immersive experience with a Virtual Reality app called Virtual Songlines. This immerses the students in the local heritage of First Nations as they learn traditional cultural practices.
Students have been playing Indigenous games during sport. The first picture is of the game “Kai wed”. The aim of the game is to keep the ball from hitting the ground, a bit like volleyball. Using their hands to keep it in the air, students perform underhand hits and spikes to keep the ball up and students count each hit as they go. The team with the highest number of hits wins. The second game is called “Jillora”. Students line up with their balls, which they can throw or toss with the aim of spinning them. They may use one or both hands and the aim of the game is to have the ball spin the longest. The student whose ball spins the longest is the winner.
Here is the Year 6 Mentors’ NAIDOC Week stall in action:
Funds raised from the stall will be donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture does not, however, only happen during NAIDOC Week. For example, at the end of Term 3, Pre-Primary children in ELC5 wrote letters of thanks to the Yirra Yaakin performers following the show about valuing our freshwater.
Recently Jade Dolman, Noongar Artist visited our school and worked with Year 5 and 6 to complete the following beetle paintings.
Year 6s conducted quadrat studies in the school bushland at the start of this term to discover flora and fauna found in different areas of the bush, with a focus on conserving our native species.
Thanks to everyone for making this week such a joyful learning celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and contributions to Australian society.