Irrawang Public School immersed in culture

Staff at Irrawang Public School, wearing shirts depicting the painting Aunty Margo created, telling her story of searching for her siblings.
Staff at Irrawang Public School, wearing shirts depicting the painting Aunty Margo created, telling her story of searching for her siblings.

 

Yii barray marrunggang.

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This is the response given to the student reading the acknowledgement to country at events held at Irrawang Public School.

The term means ‘this country is beautiful’ in Gathang, the language of our Worimi people.

The school offers a special language class at Irrawang Public School, for students to learn Gathang, taught by Sharon from Murrook Cultural Centre.

Irrawang Public School has a high percentage of Indigenous students enrolled, and makes every effort to immerse all students in not only local Worimi culture, but to have a strong, educated understanding of the history of our Indigenous people across Australia and all they have experienced over time.

There was no better example of this than their recent event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generations of Australia.

The assembly saw year five and six students, and a collection of respected members of the Indigenous community and their families and associated guests, listen to the moving and emotional stories of Aunty Margo, Aunty Judy and Aunty Mary.

These women shared with attendees how the policies and procedures of the then Government affected their lives, families and connection to culture.

Irrawang Principal Stacy Mathieson is passionate about Aboriginal culture and keeping it thriving in the school system.

She told News Of The Area, “Shared stories is such a wonderful way to enlighten our students on Australia’s past.”

“I personally, was privileged to be there for both Aunty Judy and Aunty Margo at different points in time through their emotional journey.”

“At Irrawang Public School, I am proud of the support we provide for all of our students, including our 110 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, yet acknowledge that we still have a more work to do,” she said.

 

By Rachael VAUGHAN

 

Aunty Mary, Aunty Jo, Aunty Judy and Aunty Margo, presented with flowers at the formal assembly. (left) Aunty Margo presents a hand crafted coolamon to Irrawang Principal, Stacy Mathieson. (right)
Aunty Mary, Aunty Jo, Aunty Judy and Aunty Margo, presented with flowers at the formal assembly. (left)
Aunty Margo presents a hand crafted coolamon to Irrawang Principal, Stacy Mathieson. (right)

 

Aunty Margo presents a painting to Brooke Roach from Hunter River High School.
Aunty Margo presents a painting to Brooke Roach from Hunter River High School.

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