NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee) is all about celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and achievements. Each year it is celebrated across Australia as a full week, with a unique theme each year which reflects important issues. This year SCAS will be participating in a host of activities and workshops on Thursday 27th of July in acknowledgement of NAIDOC week.

As the Indigenous Support Officer for St Columba, I have been working with the Aboriginal Education Committee for several months organising the structure of the day and workshops. Many staff and students have played significant roles in the organisation and running of the day, which is very much appreciated.

NAIDOC is a chance for Australia as a country to recognise, appreciate and learn more about the beautiful richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and people. This year’s theme is ‘Our Languages Matter’ which I think is important as so many of our languages have sadly already been lost, and as a country we need to ensure that these languages survive. Indigenous languages are important to cultural identity, connection to country and the sharing of history, story and song. I have been lucky to be part of learning the Gathang language with the Gathang Language Group and this year’s theme shines light on the preservation and revitalisation of languages such as Gathang.

This year SCAS will be celebrating with workshops throughout the day, an assembly and BBQ. Workshops include weaving, music and dance, language and song, creating dreamcatchers, art, traditional games, Tiwi design printmaking and others. We are honoured to have members of the local community sharing their cultural knowledge with us, including Aunty Rhonda Radley, Arlene McInherney, Trish McInherney, Steven Donovan and Kathy Graham. The BBQ will include bush tucker tastings and funds raised from the BBQ and Techie Girls Club will go towards supporting literacy and numeracy in Aboriginal communities through the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation. We will also have a special NAIDOC assembly, featuring cultural dance performed by our students, Steven Donovan performing music, and Charlie Maher who was the first Indigenous runner in the New York Marathon and talented athlete presenting.

NAIDOC day at SCAS is an opportunity for students to get involved for a fun and interactive cultural experience! The day will be full of ways to learn about Aboriginal cultures, both traditional and contemporary, and show appreciation for the oldest living culture.

~ Kayla Doolan, Indigenous Support Officer 

Images:
Top Left – 2016 NAIDOC Celebrations at SCAS
Top Right – Charlie Maher speaking at Luminosity Youth Summit Port Macquarie 2017 (Photo credit Lindsay Moller Photography)
Bottom Left – Charlie Maher speaking at Luminosity Youth Summit Port Macquarie 2017 (Photo credit Lindsay Moller Photography)
Bottom Right – Principal Terry Muldoon, Indigenous Support Officer Kayla Doolan and local artist Steven Donovan