IGS Koori Club’s Cultural Immersion Day

Last Wednesday, IGS Koori Kids, along with their families, gathered for an immersive exploration of First Nations culture at our rural campus, The Retreat in Kangaroo Valley. Partnering with the local First Nations Gadhungal Marrwarring team, Dharrawal Traditional Custodians from the Shoalhaven region, the day was dedicated to understanding language and culture.

The day commenced with a Smoking Ceremony led by Dharrawal man Jacob Chant-Morris. Jacob shared insights into the significance of these ceremonies, discussing their role in healing and connection to the land with the students.

Following the ceremony, students engaged in traditional song and dance based on local songlines and the stories they carry. Everyone was captivated by Jacob’s retelling of Dharrawal dreamtime stories about the Nyow’ora (Black Cockatoo), the Galinjaarn (Crimson Rosella), and the nearby Gaanbiwarra (Fire Mountain).



Jacob’s vivid and intricately woven narratives underscored the educational value of the event, emphasising the importance of learning moral lessons from the stories, connecting with the wisdom of ancestors, and showing reverence for the cultural significance of the land. And, as Jacob added, to share stories together and have fun!

Dharrawal Words

Nyowal (nyow-wool) – White Cockatoo
Nyow’ora (nyow-ora) – Black Cockatoo
Galinjaarn (gal-in-jahn) – Crimson Rosella
Gaanbiwarra (gaarn-bi-worra) – Fire Mountain

A highlight of this special day was bringing IGS Koori Kids together, strengthening bonds, and seeing new connections form between families and staff.

Special thanks to our Koori families, the Gadhungal Marrwarring team, Megan Sampson, Jade Carr, and Darren Kuilenburg and members of the 40 Years Young Creative Team for their invaluable contributions.