To celebrate NAIDOC Week this year, St James’ hosted a range of activities to immerse the students in Indigenous culture and form a better understanding of Whadjuk Country, the land on which Alkimos is built.
On the first day of NAIDOC Week, St James’ was honoured by a visit from Noongar leader Danny Ford OAM. With support from LendLease, Danny led our Year 3s on an Alkimos walk, educating our students about the flora and fauna and the Noongar history of the area. The students were excited to take turns wearing the ‘booka’ or kangaroo skin and carrying the boomerangs.
St James’ staff valued the opportunity to hear from Danny during an engaging and insightful cultural awareness meeting. Head of Junior School, Dan Mornement, took the opportunity to congratulate Danny for being recognised with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in this year’s Queens Birthday Honours.
On the second day of NAIDOC Week, the ELC students embraced the opportunity to learn how to prepare damper. They eagerly watched their teachers knead and prepare the dough that would later be cooked in the firepit at the outdoor classroom, Djerebin Boodja. In the Djerebin Boodja, the students sang, ‘The Acknowledgement Song – Whadjuk Country,’ and there was great excitement from those students who tried damper for the first time.
Junior School students were never so excited to get their hands dirty, with the Year 5s creating beautiful coloured poles with Indigenous dot paintings and our Year 4s planting edible native plants during an incursion with Tucker Bush. The hard work from these students will help enhance the beautiful Djerabin Boodja (meaning ‘happy place’) in Junior School.
On the final day of NAIDOC Week the Year 3 – 6s Koorlong enjoyed a special singing session with the Koorlong Music group.
It was a week that produced much colour and creativity with the Year 7s, 8s and 9s creative producing beautiful Indigenous dot art. Our Year 1s to 6s also created a lasting reminder of this year’s NAIDOC Week by designing a stunning gum leaf mural that reflects colours of the native flora and fauna, which is now on display in the Year 3 to 6 collaborative area. The mural represents the strong connection between nature and Indigenous Australians.