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NAIDOC Celebrations - Everyone is our Brother and Sister

National Aborigines and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week has been a celebration of rich culture, history and achievements for over 40 years. This year’s NAIDOC theme was ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth.’, aiming to draw attention to the Indigenous voice of Australia.

Makarrata, a word from the language of the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land, is the idea of two parties coming together after a struggle and healing the divisions of the past. It is about acknowledging that something has been done wrong, and it seeks to make things right. Ambrose Treacy College is setting an example for others to follow, through inclusivity and offering a liberating education. The College draws people together by sharing the incredible stories of the Indigenous heritage of our country’s first peoples and last week, we celebrated NAIDOC Mass, celebrating all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We were joined by Archbishop Mark Coleridge who highlighted the importance of treating everyone as our brothers and sisters. During the mass ATC were proud to present the Reconciliation Action Plan to all families, acknowledging the commitment to genuine partnerships and equity for all students.

There was a sense of pride amongst the ATC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community after the NAIDOC Mass. Year 12 students Terry Milligan and Jacques Frisby proudly took part in the memorable performance of their traditional dance which involved indigenous students from all year levels.

It was a proud moment for me, as I could share my culture with everyone in the College community,’ said Terry.

Jacques agreed, saying he too felt honoured to share his culture and heritage, and both felt like role models for the younger indigenous boys within the group.

Year 8 student, Jerimiah Wylie-Coolwell, played the didgeridoo at key moments throughout the Mass, setting the scene for a symbolic and spiritual service. Jerimiah said he too felt honoured to performing at this years NADIOC Mass.

I felt proud to represent ATC and my culture, and to play the didgeridoo,” said Jerimiah. “I enjoy it a lot, I play and practise the didgeridoo every day and work on my circular breathing.’

ATC’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Support Officer, Brett Greinke said he was very proud of all the boys for their hard work and pride in their culture.

It was a very good day, there was a lot of work behind the scenes, the boys have been dancing really well this year.’ said Mr Greinke.

This isn’t their first occasion dancing, the boys have been representing our culture well, dancing at a number of different events this year, so it felt a little bit easier for them. We had a large number of boys take part and I was very proud of them representing our culture in front of all their school mates. I have been here for almost a year and these boys continue to impress me. They are easy to work with and they love their culture, so it makes days like this very special’.

We look forward to sharing our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with the community as outlined in Michael Senior’s blog this week.

Mike said ‘A Reconciliation Action Plan program provides a framework for organisations to support the national reconciliation movement. Like all RAPs, we seek to build relationships, develop respect and look for opportunities within our classrooms within our community and in the wider community.’

Click here to read his full article.

Matt Warr