NAIDOC at Tea Gardens Public School FEATURED Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest by Dave Brazier - July 1, 2015 THIS is the theme of NAIDOC 2015 (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) and gives us all the chance to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements. NAIDOC week is held from 5-12 July but with school holidays most schools use the last week of Term Two to get together to celebrate with the original inhabitants of our wonderful country. Tea Gardens Public School students with direction from Mrs Miriam Avery and Mrs Anya Ingram were immersed in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with a huge program of activities on Wednesday 24 June. The schedule of activities included storytelling, face painting, Indigenous games, NPWS ranger talk, egg painting, taste testing (kangaroo stew, Davidson plum jam, damper, Wattle Seed and Choc Chip biscuits, finger lime cordial and cooking Lemon Myrtle Crackles). Principal Mark Clemson said, “We were very fortunate to be joined by some Worimi elders and other significant members of our Aboriginal community Aunty Lyn Slockey, Aunty Fran Flaus, Aunty Janene Edgerton, Dennis Flaus and David Edgerton. “I would like to personally thank all who gave up their time to help explain the wonderful culture and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to our students.” Mrs Ingram who is part of the School’s Aboriginal Education Team with Mrs Avery said, “ All of the student’s look forward to this day each year and it is always a memorable celebration of culture and history which is rich in our school and local community.” The responses from students showed the enthusiasm which the day brings: Ranger Travis Cobb- students Lara Randall and Tyler Rodgers Rory from kindergarten commented, “At the end of the dance, I got to get up and dance with them (Hunter River High School Aboriginal Dance group).” “They were helping me and showing me the emu and kangaroo moves.” Summer from year one said, “I learned they used grinding rocks to crush the seeds from native plants.” Darcy from year two added, “The talk with the Ranger (Travis Cobb) was my favourite, he showed us how they made paint by smashing coloured rocks to rub on their faces and bodies.” With recognition a major topic on the political agenda, it’s great to see people getting together to promote indigenous culture and history and by engaging school students to learn about the past of Australia through the people who have always been here and to whom country and spirit is so important.