Stan, the student supported by the Tatrai Giving Fund Scholarship (scholarship for 2021 recently renewed by Ethical Partners Tatrai Giving Fund) is working hard in year 8 and getting some good results. He’s looking forward to the rugby season starting after Easter.
All students from Kindergarten participated in a cultural excursion in March to Ku-Ring-Gai National Park, to learn about the Guringai people. Students had two Indigenous guides, Laurie and Les who shared rock carvings and paintings, found bush tucker & threw boomerangs.
Cultural excursions are one way that we build a culturally safe school and develop students’ knowledge.
The knowledge of staff and their experiences allow us to immerse students in their culture. This is the value in having nine Aboriginal staff members.
Through cultural competency children have a greater sense of self and their identity, and together we strive to raise the visibility of Aboriginal culture in the broader community.
As we know from our founder Pastor Ray Minniecon, Aboriginal education is difficult, partly due to cultural clashes between an educational system which is essentially Anglo-Saxon, and generational Indigenous experience of this schooling, with memories of exclusion and disadvantage.
Gawura families struggle with extensive dispossession, and some with dysfunction and poverty, which tends to impede educational journeys and outcomes. Aboriginal children also experience very high levels of extended family bereavement. Our culturally safe school helps children to cope with all of this and to feel supported.
The next big outing is the previously postponed On Country excursion to Kuku Yalangi Nation in North Queensland which (COVID permitting), will go ahead in July. Students are so excited about this week-long trip and the visit to the Great Barrier Reef as part of this.