Penelope Russell | Director of Teaching and Learning, ASC
Anglican Schools Commission (ASC) Schools have accepted the to challenge proposed as part of Reconciliation Week 2022 to ‘Be Brave’ and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so that we can ‘Make Change’ for all. This article outlines some of the things ASC schools are doing to work towards reconciliation.
The ASC Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group meets regularly to further the work of reconciliation in ASC schools and meet the commitments contained in the RAP. In September 2021 Principals and Senior Staff at the ASC undertook a walk on Wadjemup (Rottnest Island), led by Professor Len Collard, gaining insight into the traumatic events that occurred at the settlement and the area around Thomson Bay.
A group of ASC students are participating in a 10-week unit as part of their Religious Studies curriculum called ‘Connections.’ The unit seeks to grow cultural awareness of Aboriginal and Torrs Strait Islanders spiritual connection to Country in students. Work is also underway on a unit of work for inclusion in the Religious Studies curriculum that considers the responses of Christian communities to climate change with a particular focus on the voice of Aboriginal Christian communities.
Individual ASC school communities are working with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to build cultural competency with staff and students by establishing connections with local Aboriginal leaders. St James’ Anglican School has been awarded a grant from LandLease towards the development of a bush tucker garden and interpretive track. The garden will have local plants and interpretive signage to help educate the students on the plants and their uses. The signs will also tell the stories of the six Noongar seasons. At John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School a gift of land will be developed to include a Yarning Circle. Each year at Georgiana Molloy Anglican School Year 1 students and teachers welcome Mr Josh Whiteland from Koomal Dreaming who teaches the students about the Aboriginal seasons and how it relates to plants and animals. Year 6 students at Peter Moyes Anglican Community School completed a Learning Journey during Term 1 2022 on the inquiry “Should we celebrate Australia Day on 26th January?” They presented the projects as an expo in their classrooms for their fellow students, teachers and staff to view and discuss the subject together.
ASC school communities seek reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in our Anglican schools aware of the fullness of humanity but hopeful, knowing that God promises to renew all things, of establishing and maintaining restoration between people from all nations and tribes.
Published in Messenger May 2022