For the celebration, students and staff were encouraged to wear red, black and yellow. The day began with a morning tea attended by Aboriginal families and their children, local elders and other guests.
The guests toured the school and looked at new and upcoming Indigenous projects around the grounds.
Following the morning tea, The Birrawal Dance Group began the day’s celebrations with a number of traditional performances including a welcoming and cleansing dance. The dance group also performed a Welcome to Country.
Two girl dancers from the Murran Dance Group from Woodberry also attended and performed some traditional moves for the students to copy.
Uncle Leon then performed a smoking ceremony and explained its significance and meaning to the students.
After the performances, students separated into their sporting houses and rotated across a number of themed activities.
Students participated in an art activity with Aunty Kerry, focusing on a special female in their lives and understanding how that woman’s sacrifices have enabled them to thrive and grow up strong.
Uncle Johnny Lockwood, a member of the stolen generation who was taken from his parents as a two-year-old, showed students some artefacts from the bush and explained their importance.
The local female Murran dance group performed and taught students some traditional moves in the school hall.
Aboriginal carvers from Karuah Land Council showed students how they carved animals and sacred symbols with special tools into the school’s new totem poles, before the students listened to dreamtime stories in the stonehedge garden.
Students also took part in a NAIDOC liturgy, where they heard stories of inspirational female Aboriginals who helped make our nation great. Students and staff also shared stories of the wonderful women in their own lives.
“We have our new mural and our totem poles will be finished this year by Karuah Land Council,” said Clare Parker, Aboriginal Education Teacher at St Aloysius.
“As our school grows so does our Indigenous appreciation and we will see lots of artwork reflecting this.
“Thank you to our special guests for joining us and thank you also to The Cultural Committee for its help in organising the day.”