This year’s NAIDOC theme is ‘Always was, always will be’ and invites all Australians to embrace the history of our country. Hale School celebrated NAIDOC in a diverse and full week early in Term 3.
The Senior School held a NAIDOC ceremony, where Whadjuk Ballardong Noongar elder, Professor Len Collard gave the welcome and spoke of the importance of language and culture. Three students conducted a smoking ceremony before Lawson Humphries (Year 12, Nyul Nyul) and Elwood Wade (Year 7, Yawuru) spoke about their strong connection to country.
“We want all Australians to celebrate that we are the oldest continuing culture on the planet and to recognise that sovereignty was never ceded,” Lawson said. “We have lost a lot of our culture but we are regaining it in new ways. Our culture is still very much alive. When we listen to our ancestors whispering through the trees when a breeze passes, when we put out feet in the earth, when we throw sand into the water before we swim we can feel our culture breathe again. Always was always will be.”
The Assembly concluded with a powerful performance by Flewnt MC who performed his song Kya Kyana, a tribute to Noongar culture and the celebratory Kyana festivals that took place during NAIDOC Week in the early 1990s.
During the week, our Indigenous students shared their culture with the younger boys in the Junior School, teaching dance and sharing some cultural practices.
Over the following weeks artist Kamsani Bin Salleh (Nimunburr / Ballardong) created a powerful and prominent mural on the southern wall of the John Inverarity Music and Drama Centre representing the ‘maarli’ (black swan) in the reeds of the wetlands surrounding the school. The maarli was created to mimic the Hale School crest and represent the intersection of the country that Hale School sits on.