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Culture blossoms at Southern Cross

Growing strong: Head of De La Salles campus Terry O’Connor, indigenous learning enrichment Teacher Mary McMurtrie, Uncle Eric Law, principal Greg Myers, Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath at the opening of the new bush tucker garden.

Growing strong: Head of De La Salles campus Terry O’Connor, indigenous learning enrichment Teacher Mary McMurtrie, Uncle Eric Law, principal Greg Myers, Member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath at the opening of the new bush tucker garden.

INDIGENOUS Learning Enrichment continues to grow in strength at Southern Cross Catholic College with a new bush tucker garden and the return of a former student.

Rugby league legend Petero Civinoceva came on board as ambassador of the college’s Deadly Reading Challenge, which encourages Indigenous students to read as many books as possible to earn points.

He challenged indigenous students who attended the college’s Homework Club each week to work on homework and assessment tasks.

The Homework Club was established in 2013 to provide academic support and help indigenous students develop good study habits and routines.

The club has grown from four students to almost 40.

Indigenous learning enrichment teacher Mary McMurtrie said the club was a means of developing relationships and connections with indigenous students across SCCC’s four campuses, as well as providing connections with the wider college community.

“Not only do students complete homework and assessment tasks, but there is a major focus upon incorporating cultural perspectives such as dance, stories, traditional games, art, language and developing pride in identity,” she said.

“We also have guest speakers from time to time, and we are thrilled Petero has come on board, not only as an ambassador for the challenge, but also as a mentor for the students.”

Mrs McMurtrie said the addition of the Homework Club into the college weekly calendar had provided a number of positive outcomes for the indigenous students attending.

Students are growing and embracing their identity, developing strong pride in their culture; students are developing confidence and eagerness to undertake all aspects of their schoolwork; Indigenous families are developing a stronger connection with the College and staff; an indigenous dance group has been established and elders are supporting the club as volunteers and mentors.

Indigenous Learning Enrichment has also been supported with the opening of the bush tucker garden at the De La Salle campus, officially named Woomba Teilah.

Woomba is an Aboriginal word meaning “gathering place of young warriors” and Teilah is a Hebrew word meaning “healing hands of God”.

The garden is acknowledged as a reflective space where young SCCC students (warriors) can gather, reflect and walk together in unity.

The garden was officially opened in the presence of state member for Redcliffe Yvette D’Ath, community Elder Uncle Eric Law and other guests.

Written by: Staff writers
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