ALL senses came alive at St Mary’s Catholic College, South Burnett, when the community celebrated National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day (NAICD).
The school community experienced the sounds of traditional corroboree, the smells and taste of freshly baked damper and the vibrant colours of Aboriginal rock-painting during the recent day-long celebrations.
The day began with a liturgy based on this year’s theme, “Value My Culture, Value Me”, in St Mary’s Church, Kingaroy, when four students were awarded ACICC (Aboriginal Community Interest Consultative Committee) High School Scholarships to help with further study.
Assistant principal for religious education Marty Perrett gave a moving reflection about indigenous leader Vincent Lingiari and his struggle and victory over oppression so beautifully told by singer/songwriters Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody in the song From Little Things Big Things Grow.
After the liturgy students and staff walked back to the school in silence, taking time to reflect on all the Aboriginal unsung heroes of Australia.
Back at school, students and staff immersed themselves in cultural rotation activities such as traditional damper-making, indigenous rock art classes, South Burnett Youth Services CTC Sing Star, and traditional Aboriginal games.
The day finished with a performance by the Junior Wakka Wakka Dance Group, from Cherbourg State School, of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corroboree dances.
The Cherbourg/Murgon Bacca “Stylin-Up Crew” added some modern Hip Hop Aboriginal dance to the celebrations.
Principal Peter Shaw said the aim of the day was to acknowledge and value indigenous culture and provide local indigenous and non-indigenous students with the opportunity to experience aspects of the local indigenous culture.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.