NAIDOC events are being held around the country this week to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The 2016 NAIDOC theme, Songlines – The living narrative of our nation, showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s histories and deep spiritual connection to the land.
NAIDOC Week is highly respected in Schools in the Myall Coast region and givesIndigenous students a chance to share their culture through storytelling, dance and song.
As part of the NAIDOC celebrations, Bulahdelah Central School’sCultural Group performed at Tea Gardens Public School and Hawks Nest Pre-School last week.
Group member, 14-year-old Jaylee Tassell from North Arm Cove said she especially enjoys presenting the indigenous dances.
“I do this because I am proud of my culture, and I want to display it to everyone,” she said.
“I am able to learn about the significance of each dance in my own culture and the performances allow me to teach others about it as well.”
The studentsperformed songs in traditional language, presented fishing, snake and basket weaving dances and played the didgeridoo with many interactive activities for the audience to participate in.
Teacher Ms Casey Connell said the Cultural Group consists of students from Year 3 all the way up to Year 12.
“This is the second year that the group have been performing and we are continuing to learn new dances,” she said.
“The activities presented by the students allow them to display their culture and be proud of it, and it also promotes a sense of unity.”
Students and visitors at Tea Gardens Public School enjoyed an Indigenous-inspired morning tea as part of the Celebrations with kangaroo burgers and other treats on offer.
Tea Gardens Principal Mark Clemson said the success of the day was due to the efforts of staff and many volunteers.
“I would like to acknowledge the hard work that has been put into organising and running this day,” Mr Clemson said.
“The performers and all those who have assisted deserve the upmost praise for their hard work.”
This year’s NAIDOC Week is celebrated nationally from 3-10 July.
By Daniel SAHYOUN