IGS Red Earth Indigenous Immersion Coordinator and Language Teacher Lucy Howard-Shibuya said National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day was acknowledged and celebrated across all areas of the school.
The theme this year is Proud in Culture, Strong in Spirit, and Lucy explained the importance of bringing First Nations People’s language and culture into school life.
“We did not let Sydney’s lockdown dampen our spirits!” Lucy said.
High School students in the Daringyal tutor group were encouraged to bring a childhood favourite toy to their Zoom session to remember childhood and celebrate.
“It was great to see the kids participating with such enthusiasm,” said Head of Indigenous Education Jade Carr.
“We have also set a challenge for the students to create a bush food recipe while they are having some down time during the IGS Wellness Day on Friday and share what they created in photos or videos on Monday,” Jade said.
In the Primary School, Year 2 took part in activities including learning about Coolamons.
Rena Bishop, a proud Murawari girl, taught other children about how Coolamons were used to carry babies. She also taught Years 2 and 3 students about dilly bags.
Lucy congratulated Rena on sharing her culture with the School community.
Year 3 students enjoyed decorating hands in traditional colours to symbolise reconciliation.
IGS PDHPE Teacher Lawrance Hunting engaged his Gura students in a workshop.
“I loved being able to use real-life stories of when I went to Goodooga and experienced Aboriginal children thriving and growing up strong in their culture, with support from their families and community. I spoke about hunting for yabbies and cooking damper (Bush Food),” Lawrance said.
Meanwhile, Early Learning home learner Poppy Haynes enjoyed using resource ideas from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.
Some children at home took part in the colouring in activities and learnt about culturally significant items.
Early Learning Red have been exploring space and recently learnt about the Gamilaroi story of Dhinawan the emu, who appears in different forms in the night sky during different times of the year.
“We have connected this with our knowledge of western constellations, and have begun to think about how the stars can be read for navigation, and for other important information,” Early Childhood Teacher Miriam Jones said.
“We watched a video by Gamilaroi man Ben Flick, who explained how the position of Dhinawan in the sky tells Gamilaroi people when to collect emu eggs, and how to leave enough for future generations.
“Next we watched a section of a DesertPea Media music clip sung and created by Gamilaroi kids, whose lyrics included: ‘My Country where the song lines are, where Dhinawan touch the stars’.
“Early Learning Red children shared stories about what they had seen in the night sky.”
Early Childhood Teacher Sonja Wiedenmaier asked children what they were connected to in our world and what they loved.
Some of their responses included, family, animals, the sea and the air.
In Early Learning Blue, children watched the story Once there was a Boy, written and illustrated by Dub Leffler (a descendent of the Bigambul people of South-West Queensland).
“The children enjoyed this story about sharing knowledge of the land. It has a strong message of kindness and welcoming,” Early Childhood Teacher Elena Palmitessa said.
“The story was read by Kamil Ellis, a Wiradjuri actor who plays the role of Luke in the hit show Nowhere Boys.”