NAIDOC celebrations at Holy Name Forster

NADIOC celebrations at Holy Name Primary School, Forster, are always a special event, with community members both attending and contributing to make each year a memorable occasion for the students, parents and staff.

Last week’s activities followed this year’s theme: ‘Because of her, we can!’

Several activities were held throughout the week such as the ‘Deadly Door’ competition, a lolly guessing competition and classroom-based activities which included the sharing of stories as well as art and dancing.

Two staff members, Mrs Lee Townsend and Ms Crystal Simon, brought much of their cultural and community knowledge to help plan and co-ordinate the activities.

These activities helped to prepare the students for the official NAIDOC Assembly.

The official NAIDOC Assembly was a special time as the school’s Indigenous students led the school community through the assembly and gave those who attended an opportunity to be grateful for the proud and rich culture that exists in the local area.

The assembly began with the Water Blessing and was filled with dances, stories, songs and prayers before everyone shared a meal together.

Many members of the school community attended, with one father saying that it “…was the best one yet, gets better every year”.

It was an emotional time for many and a meaningful celebration of the strong Aboriginal women who are acknowledged as part of this year’s NAIDOC theme, ‘Because of her, we can!’ 

Young men and women from the local high schools also visited and performed dances for the school community before teaching them to students. Everyone present was in awe of the commitment and energy that filled the room when these young Indigenous people danced.

Led by their teacher, Marcus, who sang and clapped while the dancers performed, the students had an obvious respect for the work they were doing.

Mrs Townsend led the singing of the final song, ‘I am Woman’, which was a strong and appropriately positive way to end our celebrations.

Parents also supported the event by hosting the barbecue that followed with one parent, Mr Ronnie Ryan, who works for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, setting up a display of local fauna for the students to enjoy.