NAIDOC Week 2021 at St James’ Anglican School themed, ‘Heal Country’ proved to be a huge success again this year, with opportunities for both students and staff to explore a multitude of tasks, perspectives, and experiences. We celebrated the rich history, diverse cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and gained an insight into the importance of custodianship to move forward as a nation. Activities were organised and designed for all year groups from Kindy to Year 12. The day started with a beautiful ‘Healing Hand’ decorative art piece which every student helped produce and later that day was photographed as a whole school community art installation.
Throughout the day, year groups transitioned around the school grounds to encounter some amazing workshops to gain further understanding and exposure to a variety of educational NAIDOC experiences.
Welcome to Country performed by the Moorditj Mob from Wesley College, followed later in the day, by a musical duo with Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse. Students were able to listen and appreciate the importance of saying welcome and keeping the Noongar language and culture alive through the correct pronunciation of the lyrics. Many students were tapping their feet, getting into the groove!
We were fortunate to have a Local Elder, Derek Nannup, visit the Junior School imparting exciting stories about the First Nation. Derek kept the students entertained and intrigued with his storytelling experiences. Year 4 experienced ‘green fingers’, they designed and planted a Bush Tucker Garden and produced a Rainbow Serpent with limestone blocks. Home Economics students were cooking up a feast learning about the various traditional ingredients and recipes. Students enjoyed the different flavours of their Saltbush damper and Saltbush sausage rolls. Meanwhile, Year 5 used their new and existing knowledge of dot painting to create four creative PVC poles, which will be placed in the Bush Tucker Garden later this year.
Our Year 12 students were actively involved with Urban Indigenous, who exposed the students to a group canvas experience. The Year 12s created an amazing 1.5m by 1.5m masterpiece, certainly demonstrating teamwork, honouring custodianship incorporating their ideas, yet representing the Indigenous styles of artwork.
The Senior School Pastoral Care Groups assembled to create a wooden art piece representing the Aboriginal flag colours using only a series of dots, learning how to present various sized dots and overlapping to show depth and shadows. The students immersed themselves with the concept so much so that mini-competitions arose within the year groups. The results were simply stunning.
The whole day was simply a fun-packed creative way to celebrate NAIDOC.