Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation Week @ ARPS:

For Reconciliation Week, the Year 5-6 Learning Space teachers registered the school on the Reconciliation website (http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/events/). They watched a number of videos from the Reconciliation Australia website and had discussions about the importance of reconciliation. The students researched The Mabo Decision and the 1967 Referendum as it was the 25th and 50th anniversaries of these two important events. They also discussed the Recognise Campaign, and how the next step after reconciliation was having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders recognised in the Constitution because “Australia’s rule-book” allowed for discrimination against them.

The students investigated the changes that have been made in Australia’s history over time and the ever changing relationships with Australia’s Indigenous people. The students were shocked to hear that the Indigenous people of Australia were once not included on the census – or allowed to vote – and were eager to find out more. Some students investigated the 1967 Referendum, others looked into understanding the importance of the spiritual connection that the Indigenous people have with the land. Students wanted to showcase their new found understanding by putting together everyone’s work as a whole group onto a poster.

In response to Reconciliation Week, the Year 1-2 students explored Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories.  After reading and discussing the stories, students were inspired to create their own dreamtime paintings which were bright and colourful.  The students also gave their images a title and are going to use them as a seed for a future writing piece.

To acknowledge and celebrate Reconciliation Week, the Year 3-4 students investigated the ideas of harmony, acceptance and understanding, specifically focussing on the culture and history of the Aboriginal Australians. The students identified there was not a large profile of Aboriginal Australians within our school so they decided to think about possible actions they could take to change this. They traced around their foot to symbolise taking the next step and chose an action they would like to see happen. One of our students –  Heidi, who comes from an Aboriginal Australian background, was excited to be able to share her knowledge of her culture stating “I’m proud to be an Aboriginal Australian!”

Foundation are lucky enough to have a Koorie representative – Braydon – as a student in our Learning Centre.

Braydon’s Mum Amber came to share her favourite Dreamtime story of Tiddalick the Frog. Students enjoyed watching an animation of the dreamtime story and summarised the meaning to be that ‘You shouldn’t be greedy’ and that ‘the animals and people worked together to solve the problem.’

Click here to read the story.

Students then learnt from Amber how to make damper, an unleavened bread made with flour, water and salt, that is traditionally cooked in coals of a fire. Students learnt its importance in Koorie culture and then each sampled a freshly made, still warm piece from Amber’s home! Many students were lining up for seconds!

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