Indigenous Ambassadors make special visit to Koori Club

The IGS Koori Club had a special visit by the school’s Indigenous Ambassadors, Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO and NITV presenter Natalie Ahmat.

The club runs once a term and brings together the school’s Indigenous students to keep connected.

Professor Bashir was particularly impressed to learn that some IGS students could sing We are Australian in English and Wiradjuri.

She was also fond of the Koori Club t-shirt the students wear.

“I get very excited when I know I’m coming here because I know I’m going to see something very wonderful for Australia. You young kids growing up together understanding one another,” Professor Bashir said.

Professor Bashir shared a story of her childhood, where she grew up in an Indigenous town.

“A lot of kids used to go to school without shoes and socks on,” she said.

“I would take them off as soon as I got to school and hide them under the school.

“Those of us who had shoes and socks used to be so ashamed to be wearing them because we all wanted to be one family, sisters and brothers and this is what this school is about.

“Even though families might have come from different parts of the world and different parts of Australia, you’re all together as one family.”

Natalie Ahmat thanked the students for inviting her to their Koori Club and was blown away by the type of learning and opportunities the students are given.

She said she loved that the Wiradjuri language was being revived in the classroom at IGS and seeing value placed on Indigenous languages at the school.

 “I’m so glad that 30 years on, people are starting to recognise that and you guys are now at the forefront of learning and can carry on that language and the different cultural activities.”

“It’s really great to see the work the school is doing, in particular you guys coming together in Koori Club,” she said.
Natalie, who grew up in Canberra said she and her brother were the only Indigenous kids in her class.

“I just wished we had something like this so we could all come together,” she said.

At 25 she went to work for an Aboriginal owned station in Alice Springs, and that was the first time she had the opportunity to work with and be surrounded by other Indigenous people.

“It took 25 year before I had family and friends around me, other aboriginal people around me that I could relate to.”

Armani, in Year six said she looks forward to Koori Club each term.

“We get to go and talk to our friends from different year groups,” she said.

Armani recently got invited to an excursion with another year group to learn more about the Aboriginal culture and enjoyed the opportunity to see dancers.