On Tuesday 22nd October, 35 Year 5 students walked to The Aboriginal Advancement League in Thornbury with Brett, Miss Meredith, Natasha (our awesome year 5 placement teacher) along with our very helpful parents Katherine and Stefan (a BIG thank you for helping us!), to celebrate the NAIDOCS Schools Yarning Conference. This year’s theme is Voice. treaty. Truth.
This special day included a variety of activities and experiences for our students including hearing Aunty Joy read her book ‘Willam, a birrarung story’, sharing in a little long walk where the 16 participating schools walked proudly with their banners and flags, experiencing a workshop with Brothers in arms + a language workshop, hearing Nova Peris share her family story and ending the day with a smoking ceremony and reflection from the students.
Student recount of the day:
In the first part all fifteen schools gathered together, and we all sat together around the stage. The first event of the day was when aunty joy read a book to us called Willam (home), and it was about the Australian native things like animals and plants.
We also got told about aunty joys ancestors. At the end of the first part one of the presenters called Laura showed a short puppet show of Bugel and Wah.
After lunch, and our activities, we all gathered in a group to discuss what the long walk was.
We were greeted by Nova Peris a Australian olympian and a good friend of michael long. Then set off for a little long walk around the oval. Schools held up banners and posters, just like in the real long walk. After we had all done a lap of the oval, we then went up the hill to see a fire pit and uncle trevor. Uncle trevor talked to us about how we should respect our teachers and parents, because they give us a lot and we need to pay then back. Then all of the teachers walked up and put a gumleaf into the fire pit followed by a couple of students from each school. We all then walked inside to say things about our day and the experiences we had. Children talked about their group activities and their overall day. We were given some books and then said our goodbyes by singing a song that one of the schools had made in their activities. Overall the day was so much fun and all of the students enjoyed it very much so we would love to do it again. A special thanks again to our parent helpers Kat, Stef, student teacher Natasha and the organisers Miss M and Brett – Check out our photos below!!
By Laura and George
Thank you for reading!