NAIDOC Week 2020

To commemorate NAIDOC Week 2020, Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited (DOSCEL) acknowledged and celebrated our nation’s story, which began long before European settlement. This year’s theme, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.

Here’s how Catholic school communities across the Diocese of Sale reflected on and learnt more about the first footprints that were left on this continent.

St Joseph’s Primary School, Orbost

On Thursday November 26 St Joseph’s Primary School held a range of activities focussed on Aboriginal culture. These included singing, making boomerangs and tapping sticks, reading books, playing games and completing jigsaw puzzles, as well as face painting with crushed ochre.

St Brendan’s Primary, Lakes Entrance

Indigenous culture is an important part of the daily lives of staff and students at St Brendan’s. Each week students spend time in the school’s Indigenous garden and outdoor learning space, and during NAIDOC Week, extra classroom activities take place to ensure students have an understanding of the history of Australia’s first people.

Each class wrote their own Acknowledgment to Country which they began each session saying. Other activities included creating posters, decorating boomerangs, connecting and identifying with country, and tasting Indigenous plants.

Nagle College, Bairnsdale

This year, Nagle College celebrated the 10th anniversary of the creation of the school’s Graduation and Reconciliation Possum Cloak. The cloak was created in 2010 with permission from the Elders and under the guidance of the cloak maker, Mrs Lee Darroch, to ensure everyone involved in the project understood the cultural and spiritual significance of the traditions that possum skin cloaks uphold. The cloak was bound by many hands, including Year 9 Bushtucker students, the Class of 2010, Koorie students and friends, Nagle College Staff and the Koorie community and their Elders.

In the lead up to NAIDOC Week this year, the cloak was presented to Year 12 graduate, Harley Finn, in recognition of his academic, cultural and sporting excellence.