- It was wonderful to see our students and staff proudly celebrate NAIDOC week and honour the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through a range of activities across the school.
- With NAIDOC Week falling in the July school holiday break, our school instead celebrated in September. A huge thank you to our Aboriginal Education Team for their tremendous work in organising the various events and activities that involved so many people within and outside our school.
This year at Gymea, there was plenty happening both inside and outside the classroom to celebrate NAIDOC Week. Each year NAIDOC week is an important time for all Australians to come together, celebrate, share, learn and reflect on the invaluable contributions made by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to our nation’s rich history. This year’s theme “Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!” inspired us as a school community to consider different ways we can stand alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as advocates and allies.
To launch our NAIDOC Week celebrations a special morning tea was hosted by our Aboriginal Education Officer, Sandra Blackburn, Head Teacher HSIE, Maria Polianitis and our Aborginal Education Team.This was a wonderful event, proudly attended by our Aboriginal students, their families and friends, special guests and many of our staff. Each individual student was recognised as a citation was read out congratulating the student on their studies and achievements so far this year. We were also fortunate to have a number of local Aboriginal community members join us and share with our students and families some of the opportunities and support services available. This was a wonderful way for our students, families, special guests and staff to come together, celebrate and learn more about each other.
At our whole school NAIDOC assembly held on Monday 12 September, it was a privilege to welcome special guests, Aunty Deanna, an Aboriginal elder of the Gadegal Nation, and students and staff from Alexandria Park Community School. Our entire school was completely captivated by the moving Welcome to Country and insight given by Aunty Deanna; the beautiful performances of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal dances and songs given by the dance troupe of over 20 students from Alexandria Park and the speech given by Year 11 students Ash Noble and Brock Faint who spoke about the power of us all standing together for First Nations peoples.
At another special event hosted by Bonnet Bay Public on Thursday 15 September, Aboriginal students, their families and teachers from Gymea and other local schools had the opportunity to come together for a BBQ lunch and participate in cultural activities to connect with each other and foster and empower student voice and leadership.
Throughout the week, our junior students had the opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, language and culture through special learning activities prepared by their teachers across their different subjects. A lovely end to the week was the mufti day organised by the SLA, where students and staff wore the colours of the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples with pride. Money raised was in support of the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation, a charity seeking to transform the lives of Indigenous children by focusing on literacy and numeracy education, to help students succeed in school. Thank you to our students and staff for supporting this worthwhile cause.
Gymea’s 2022 NAIDOC celebrations culminated into an exciting week of activities for our school community to come together and authentically celebrate, recognise and respect the rich history, culture, achievements and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Thank you to everyone for your enthusiastic participation and for getting up, standing up, showing up and your part in making this year’s NAIDOC celebrations such a tremendous success.