1 July 2021
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life.
This year’s theme – Heal Country – calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.
To celebrate NAIDOC Week this year, we planned a variety of different activities and lessons designed to explore reconciliation, history and moving towards Heal Country. Some of the activities included Indigenous sport at lunchtime, weaving, bracelet making and art activities. Students from our Inclusive Education hub worked through a storybook of the Rainbow Serpent Dreamtime Story and created their own rainbow serpent. Students also engaged in themed lessons throughout HaSS that explored the topic of reconciliation and history more thoroughly.
In addition to these activities, our Indigenous students were invited to participate in weekly workshops with Vicki Anderson exploring Nyoongah culture, history and language. Students have learnt local Nyoongah words, heard stories of Indigenous survival and success, and discussed the meaning of reconciliation. Our students really enjoyed chatting with Ms Anderson, hearing Indigenous perspectives and learning about the background to many of the Nyoongah names in our local area.
These workshops have also encouraged a few students to learn how to say the Acknowledgement of Country in Nyoongah and will be treated to a very special demonstration at our NAIDOC assembly next term.
We had a few other NAIDOC activities planned for the week including a special NAIDOC assembly, an interactive storytelling of the history of Aboriginal culture with Charmaine Climo and Renarta Coyne and a Goolamwiin Presentation with Kerry Stack, however these have had to be postponed until next term, due to the current lockdown restrictions.
These initiatives have been organised by our NAIDOC Working Party who have been working together to instil an appreciation of Nyoongah language, culture, histories and art into our staff and students at Coastal Lakes College, encourage reconciliation goals and engage students in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.