Heal Country - NAIDOC Week Celebrations
We acknowledge the Bindjareb People of the Noongar Nation, the traditional custodians who have walked upon and cared for this land for thousands of years.
We acknowledge the continued deep spiritual attachment and relationship of First Nations Peoples to this Country and commit ourselves to the ongoing journey of reconciliation.
The College celebrated NAIDOC Week recently. All students enjoyed participating in a selection of NAIDOC Week activities. There was a colouring-in competition for Year 7 and 8s. The Year 9 and 10s explored a range of Indigenous music artists, and the Year 11 and 12s learnt about First Nations Olympians and their Courage.
A special morning Tea was hosted by Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Brooke Cuthbertson for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families. Thank you Elder Melba Wallam for your Welcome to Country and thank you to Brooke for organising kangaroo stew and a delicious NAIDOC Week themed cake.
The theme of NAIDOC week 2021 is Heal Country. Heal Country calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, waters, sacred sites, and cultural heritage.
Country is inherent to the identity of First Nations Peoples. It sustains our lives in every aspect - spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally.
Country is more than just a place.
When Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples refer to Country, it is spoken of like a person.
Country is family, kin, law, lore, ceremony, traditions, and language. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples it has been this way since the dawn of time.
Healing Country means embracing First Nation’s cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia's national heritage. That the culture and values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are respected equally to and the cultures and values of all Australians.
Our Lady of Mercy College is committed to embracing First Nation’s cultures and strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians. This includes, but is not limited to:
Staff cultural awareness training
Commencement of the process of establishing a Reconciliation Action Plan
Community involvement (Reconciliation bridge walk, tree planting, engaging with local community)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Scholarship Partnership with MADALAH
Developed an Acknowledgement of Country, specific to the College, with input from local First Nations Peoples
Cultivated students’ understandings of whose Country we are on and commitment to continuing to increase their knowledge of local First Nations Peoples
The College has appointed Ms Brooke Cuthbertson in the role of Aboriginal Liaison Officer
Working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, families, and community
Assisting staff to embed First Nations perspectives across all learning areas and to create culturally responsive environments within our school for First Nations Peoples
The NAIDOC Week celebrations concluded with a NAIDOC Week themed Play Café organised by our Year 11 Cert. III Early Childhood Education and Care and the Year 10 Child Development students.
They group went on a nature walk, found a KARDA (lizard) and then released it back on Country. They ate damper and listened to a Noongar story. The kids had a wonderful time and even learnt some Noongar language; KAYA WANDJOO (hello and welcome).