Sharing Culture at St Joseph’s

As part of their celebration of Reconciliation Week, students at St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar were treated to a mesmerising dance performance from Gwenda Stanley.

Gwenda performed her show “Sharing Culture” for the college’s Year 7 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

A proud Gomeroi woman from Moree, Gwenda shared a wonderful display of dance, language and artifacts, along with her knowledge of how the Indigenous people of Australia lived off the land in the Moree area and the value of animal skins to keep them warm and dry.

Well renowned for her art, Gwenda has been performing her mesmerising dances with grace and poise for over 25 years across Australia and New Zealand with the Mirri Yulugi All Stars.

Students were given many opportunities to get involved as they tried their hand at a number of dance moves and learnt how to say some twenty words in the Gomeroi language.

Gwenda demonstrated the woman’s dance, which mimics picking fruit, and the Emu Dance. One of the students’ favourite phrases was “Ya mai” which means “See you later”.

The students also learnt that Aboriginal people in the area of Gomeroi do not use a word for goodbye as this signals an element of permanence; they always look forward to the time when they will meet again.

We are very thankful for the knowledge that Gemma shared with us and the passion in which her performance was delivered.