National Reconciliation Week – What It Means to Some NSW Schools
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National Reconciliation Week – What It Means to Some NSW Schools

– As a proud Darug person and someone who will
ensure the continuation of our history and culture, I would like to
acknowledge that this event is taking place on traditional Darug land. – [Teacher] That covers the Darug land, we raise our hands to the sky, that covers the Darug land. We touch our hearts – that care for the Darug land. – [Teacher] Are we ready? – Yes.
– Yes. ♪ We learn on Darug lands ♪ ♪ We play on Darug lands ♪ ♪ Thank you Darug people ♪ ♪ For sharing your lands ♪ – Walk together with courage, this is our theme for this
year’s Reconciliation Week. Reconciliation Week is a time to be appreciative of all
the different cultures we have in our country. Reconciliation Week has
been around since 1967, since the Referendum was approved. So, what does reconciliation mean to Kellyville Public School? It means that we make sure that everyone is respected as equals, and that we don’t discriminate based on a person’s skin colour. – Reconciliation Week is a week to recognize Aboriginal people. Walking together with courage means to me that we are all as one and we are all united,
valued, and respected. We try to make the country an equal place. At school we learn about
Australia being one nation and coming together as one. Kellyville is a community. Kellyville, as a community. We
learn about Aboriginal people and their meaning to Australia. Every day we try to make the world a better place for everyone. – Hello. – We are The Place of Kookaburra’s – Now, let’s get started. We are going to take you on a journey back in time to understand the Darug, the Aboriginal Darug way of life. – We acknowledge and respect the values of the Darug people as belonging to the oldest living culture as well as being the
first people of this land. – The place of Kookaburras was designed and constructed by the students in years three and four in 2013. The garden was built to
educate future generations about the Darug people and their culture. – Aboriginal people believe they are connected to the land. The Earth is their mother. Mother Earth looks after
the Aboriginal people and they in turn must
look after Mother Earth. If they are thirsty they
can drink from a waterhole. If they are hungry they can gather food. If they are cold they can hide out beneath an overhanging rock
that has trapped warm air. They are aware of everything
that is around them. It is that connection to the land that makes them feel so good. – When Aboriginal people
talk about the Dreamtime they think about the beginning. When the land, water,
trees, animals and people came to be. Their ancestors have
passed on the Dreamtime, through culture,
language, song and dance. The Dreamtime is in the hearts of all Aboriginal people. – The Darug people have been living in this area for over 40,000 years! The women and children
gather and collected berries, seeds and small animals.
(birds screeching) The men were hunters, and hunted large animals and birds. – The elders made decisions
and passed on knowledge. They understand the way things are and provide a strong link
to learning about Country. Aboriginal Elders are
called ‘Aunty’ or ‘Uncle’. Aunty Edna Watson, Uncle
Russ Watson are Darug Elders. (birds chirping) – wiley possum … and kangaroo (Aboriginal language) are Dharug words. In 1770 there were 700 different
Aboriginal languages spoken in Australia. Today there are less than
250 languages spoken. European settlement interrupted the passing of language from one
generation to another. Many Darug words are used today such as dingo, koala,
wallaby, wombat and boomerang. – The Darug people only
took what they needed from the land so that there would always be a food source. – I believe Reconciliation Week goes beyond just making amends for this country’s past, but also making a promise
to keep taking steps towards a better future for Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people. A future where we can all feel safe, live equally, live freely and live safely all amongst each other. In order for Aboriginal
and non-Aboriginal people to unite in solidarity,
we need to acknowledge our history, learn from it, and move forward together courageously. – Reconciliation is about
two groups of people. who have differences
and culture differences, different belief systems,
whatever it may be, able to come together and
in spite of our differences, be able to reconcile and become one group of peoples
who can be side by side; different, but also recognize
similarities as well. – I was honoured to take
place in this mural painting on this wall. I got to learn about so
much Aboriginal history that I didn’t know before
and I learnt more about Pemulway and the suburb that I live. I personally am not indigenous,
but it was really eye opening to see the history of where
I live and where I’m from. – Two separate cultures
and bringing them together, despite all the differences. – Trying to close the gap
between non-Indigenous people and Indigenous people. Because even though people wanna think there’s not a gap anymore,
there’s still a massive gap in health, in
education, in everything. – And to ensure that gap’s closed in culturally appropriate ways. Where you can actually build a trust where non-Indigenous people can build trust within
their … community. – It’s about learning the
culture instead of just trying to whitewash it out; just trying to bring it back. – Some way where we
can meet in the middle. – I think that means to
be proud of who we are, to be couragous in voicing who we are. Aboriginal Torres Strait Islanders rights, the gap that we have
to make everyone aware, to be courageous and to not hide behind being ashamed or embarrassed. To be Indigenous. – Yeah. – It’s to speak the truth
about what’s happening. Instead of just speaking
it and doing nothing, you gotta have the courage
to do something about it. – Yeah. – You know the artwork, Grounded in Truth artwork, It’s really beautiful, like, the symbolism in it, did you see the hearts and the hands and the trees and stuf? What do you think that represents? The people under the tree holding hands? – They’re all coming together. – Trying to connect one another. – I think the roots at the bottom, really just represent
the roots of our culture, like how we’re standing
on Aboriginal land. Like the roots of every
single tree and everything, like that’s our land. – Yeah. – And we need to acknowledge that, we need to be courageous in
making sure we have land rights, Acknowledgements of Country,
during presentations, during assemblies, stuff like that. Just little reminders to not be scared. – Everybody should acknowledge
that this is Aboriginal land, to respect that. – We go to the Prospect Hill ceremony, where we have a smoking ceremony. And bring our non-Indigenous friends
and relatives spend time with them and they learn more
about the culture there. – We have assemblies, like just
then, we had an assembly, where Chloe and I spoke
about Reconciliation Week, what it is, what the theme is so just let everybody know
that it’s Reconciliation Week. This year we are also doing
footprints into our school, with little messages
about Aboriginal culture and non-Aboriginal culture, and students are encouraged to read that when they walk into the school. – We also have our mural. Last year, a few art students, both non-Indigenous and
Indigenous, came together under the supervision of Mrs Feskati, and Indigenous painter, Leanne Tolvin. It’s right at the front of our school, so it’s the first thing you see when you come into our school. Basically the history
of Pemulway the warrior, and the suburb– – And we also do so many
things for NAIDOC week, and it ends up being
NAIDOC Year, every year, we’re always doing stuff around. We have lunches, assemblies,
we do activities all the time, like painting, doing some
art on boomerangs last time. Just spoke a tiny bit about our culture, did a speech in front of a
few students at the school. – At our school, it’s not
just about the Indigenous community that are involved. Everyone is involved, the
whole school is encouraged to participate in one way or another, whether it’s coming with your friend to one of these celebrations,
or whether it’s just hearing something on
assembly and reading the feed throughout the week. Everyone has a chance to
be involved and learn more about the culture and the history. – Hi, my name is Dewayne Trewlynn, I’m a Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi man, and I currently am the
Aboriginal Education Worker at Hawkesbury High School. At Hawkesbury High, reconciliation
is being shown throughout our school, throughout the year, and this year in particular,
we are working on our yarning circle, which is
behind us in the making, of being built, and this will
be used as a teaching tool for all our teachers,
to be able to use for students to learn on Country, and learn through Aboriginal culture. – Hi, my name’s Gemma,
I’m an English teacher at Hawkesbury High School, and
this year as part of our Reconciliation Action Plan,
we’ve been introducing more Indigenous voices and
perspectives into our classrooms. A specific initiative
that we did this year was, we brought in our
Aboriginal Education Officer into one of our senior
classes to assist with the teaching of Indigenous
perspectives in poetry. This fostered really
positive discussion with, both teachers, students
and the Indigenous voices in the classroom to
create an open dialogue that was both respectful and informative. (didgeridoo music) (Aboriginal language) – Friends, hello. It is good to see you, this is Darug land. Please walk with us. – A smoking ceremony is
something that Indigenous people all over this Earth, have done
at some time in their past. My people today, we still do it here. – We use it for many
many different things, very important things. Smoking ceremony, all new born babies, we put through the smoke, it
is to give them a new start, and we use it for weddings. (didgeridoo music) – And I acknowledge Aboriginal
elders past and present, especially our senior elder
here today and dear friend, Uncle Wes Maher. (Aboriginal language) In the language of people means, “Hello, come in, sit down and
welcome to Darug Country”. You walk along the paths and in the footsteps of my mother’s people. Place them thoughtfully and
mindfully in this ancient land. I acknowledge and consider the ancestors. – The use of a yarning circle
is an important process within Aboriginal culture and Torres Strait Islander culture. It has been used by Aboriginal
people from around the world for centuries,
to learn from a group; build respectful
relationships and to preserve and pass on cultural knowledge. We thought that it would
be a great opportunity for students to have their say in
a safe space without judgment. Each member of the circle
is encouraged to speak one at a time, without interruption. In this process, that
helps to develop deep listening skills, sharing knowledge, and respectful behaviour. – My hopes and dreams
for the school is for all of the children to respect each other, and for the older kids
to be role models for the up and coming generations,
and also to, I guess, always dream big and
never settle for less. You are more than capable
of doing anything you want in this world, so chase your dreams. – We light a fire, and this is to make sure, it’s a cleansing ceremony, to make sure you’re coming into Country fully and respectfully, and being patient, and today, it’s a chance
to bless your new yarning circle. – The first step to
reconciliation is to acknowledge and educate people on what really happened and why it happened and
how people are affected. We can’t come together in
unity without accepting the facts and the truth behind it, because for so many years, so
many people were misinformed about their identity and
their culture, their parents, their family, and so we
need to start educating, not only, Aboriginal people
on their past and their truth, but educating everyone
on our country’s past and our country’s truth, because although facing those horrors, is not something that is easy to do, it’s something that needs to be done, in order for forgiveness, reconciliation and for our whole
community to come together. Really the first step in all that is educating people on
the truth behind that. – There’s no such thing
as to forgive and forget. But to forgive and acknowledge, allows us to walk together with courage. Like branches in the tree
that is grounded in truth, having diversity allows
our community to grow, despite having differences
in culture and race. – It’s important to come
together, to build friendly relationships and learn
and grow in a positive way. To recognize the truth
and correct the wrongs. – Plumpton High School
values reconciliation, and as such, we participate in
Sorry Day every single year. By having our school to unite, we are able to come together and thus, apologize for the
wrong doings of the past. – What does empathy have
to do with reconciliation? – Empathy is important in
reconciliation because to truly apologize and try make
amends for something, you need to understand why it was wrong, and how it affected people,
and empathy and education are the first steps in reconciliation. We need to be
educated on what happened, how it happened, why it
happened, who it affected, and how they were affected. We need to acknowledge those horrors, acknowledge those truths,
and come together as one, and have courage in
taking those first steps. (click) (beep) ♪ Oo ♪ (tyres screech) (suspense music) ♪ Eastern Creek public school ♪ ♪ Represent the past ♪ ♪ Present and the future too ♪ ♪ Eastern Creek public school ♪ ♪ Doing it well ♪ ♪ Doing it from bell to bell ♪ ♪ Eastern Creek public school ♪ ♪ Represent the past ♪ ♪ Present and the future too ♪ ♪ Eastern Creek public school ♪ ♪ Doing it well ♪ ♪ Doing it from bell to bell ♪ (sticks banging) – Let’s go. (sticks banging) ♪ Yes that’s true ♪ ♪ Eastern Creek public school ♪ ♪ Represent the past ♪ ♪ Present and the future too ♪ ♪ Eastern Creek public school ♪ ♪ Doing it well ♪ ♪ Doing it from bell to bell ♪ ♪ Eastern Creek public school ♪ ♪ Represent the past ♪ ♪ Present and the future too ♪ ♪ Eastern Creek public school ♪ ♪ Doing it well ♪ ♪ Doing it from bell to bell ♪ ♪ My name is Lucas,
but just call me Luke ♪ ♪ Everything I do, it aint no fluke ♪ ♪ I’m proud to be Tongan ♪ ♪ I live in Australia ♪ ♪ Respect to all Aboriginal,
here’s a way for ya ♪ ♪ J-O-R-D-S that me ♪ ♪ Jords ’cause I tell from
Eastern Creek ya see ♪ ♪ I wanna be a warrior
and have my own workshop ♪ ♪ So I can fix my own scooters ♪ ♪ And ride my bikes non stop ♪ ♪ Anna Lockey ♪ ♪ L-O-C-K-E-Y, I’m gonna
say hi, not bye, not bye ♪ ♪ When I grow up I’m gonna be a doctor ♪ ♪ If I can’t do that, I’m
gonna be a police officer ♪ ♪ My name is Mr Pickles ♪ ♪ My first name is Kai ♪ ♪ My pops says “Kai, you
look like a meat pie” ♪ ♪ Together we laugh and
we think it’s real funny ♪ ♪ I wanna make you proud
mom and earn lots of money ♪ ♪ It’s Jonny here ♪ ♪ Please don’t call me John ♪ ♪ When I was little, people got it wrong ♪ ♪ Now that I’m bigger,
I know where I’m from ♪ ♪ Eastern Creek public
school, this is our ♪ ♪ This is our song ♪ ♪ Eastern Creek ♪ (emotive music) – [girl] We imagine a
future where all Australians are united by a shared
past, present and humanity. We imagine this humanity,
being the heartbeat, pulsing common ground of every Australian. The fuel of our actions
and ribbon of our unity. We imagine this future
and use it as blueprint, turning words into actions
and visions into reality. If we are dreaming of unity,
there exists division. If we are striving for equality,
we must have the respect to understand and
acknowledge the inequality. We know that trust,
understanding and relationships are crucial for change. We must put them first
as we map our future. Reconciliation is a journey
of lifelong learning. We are not satisfied to look at the past from a narrow perspective. We have the courage and responsibility to walk through that door. Forge relationships. Build understanding of our shared history and create our future together. – United as one. (emotive music) – Imagine that.

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