NAIDOC Day Celebrations

Each year at Santa Maria College we recognise NAIDOC Day. It is our opportunity to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. On Thursday, students participated in a number of activities that build awareness of tradition, heritage and language.

Some reflections from Indigenous students on NAIDOC Day:

Our Aboriginal culture is who we are, and we want to have our traditions for future generations. It is important to continue acknowledging our culture because we don’t want our culture to die out.  We are proud of our heritage and we want others to see how significant it is to our lives. It’s great to see the school celebrate our culture and support us through activities held on NAIDOC Day. We love being able to share our culture with the school community. Latisha King, Year 12

NAIDOC Day is about educating people on Aboriginal culture and breaking down the negative stereotypes that can sometimes surround our culture. It gives people knowledge on something that they don’t usually know a lot about. NAIDOC Day isn’t about making others feel bad or have a sense of guilt, it’s about trying to educate and enlighten them on our traditions as well as Australia’s history. We appreciate the College taking the steps to fully embrace the days important to our culture as it shows that as a school community we’re willing to work together to recognise and pay respect to Aboriginal traditions. Layla Beardman, Year 11

NAIDOC Day is a day where we enable Aboriginal people to have a voice and show that we have a culture that is important to us. It’s a way to spread awareness of our culture in a fun way. It’s important for the school community to celebrate the Aboriginal heritage because it’s not really spoken of and helps people get a better idea of who we are. Jamie West, Year 12

Reflections from students involved in related Service programs:

NAIDOC Day was most definitely an incredible and enjoyable celebration of Indigenous culture within our school community. The activity of writing a message on painted hands, on how individually we can work to achieve reconciliation was an important reflection in calling attention to the appreciation of the Indigenous voice. While the music, symbols, language and painting successfully educated much of the girls and celebrated the sacred aspects of the Indigenous culture.

Alyssa Cribb, Youth Action Reconciliation Now participant

To me, NAIDOC means recognising and celebrating the history and culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – the Indigenous people of Australia. I believe it is of high significance to learn about and respect Indigenous culture, as we can learn so much and especially as it is the culture upon which Australia stands.

I helped out at the Punmu stall today. Some of the activities we conducted were making bracelets out of black, yellow and red wool, as we did in Punmu, and a game that involved matching up Martu words to pictures of what they mean. Another activity we did involved writing a word or two on either a black, yellow or red paper hand on a pop-stick about how we can put an end to racism and prejudice towards Indigenous people, as there never should have been. Once the girls had written something, they went and stuck the pop-stick over in the grass near the Mercy Walk, making the larger image of an Australian Aboriginal flag.

I really enjoy celebrating NAIDOC week and love learning about Australian Indigenous culture.

Ilenia Monaco, Participant in Punmu Immersion 2019

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