NAIDOC Week celebrations begin at Bowraville Central School

Gumbaynggirr elder Uncle Martin Ballangarry, with Mark Smith, performing a Smoking Ceremony.


NAIDOC Week celebrations began early at Bowraville Central School, with a well organised and heartfelt event on Monday 21 June 2021.

The impacts of COVID-19 were felt last year and NAIDOC celebrations had to be restricted.

Bowraville Central School Principal David Taylor told News Of The Area, “Last year we did put something on but we were not able to invite the community which is a big part of it.

“We had a flag raising ceremony and assembly but no parents, no community.

“Which is why we wanted the whole community to come in today to celebrate with us.

“So St Mary’s, the pre-school, and Bowraville Central school are all celebrating together today.

“There are activities all week, all throughout town.

“In school and outside.

“We have some tree planting.

“Heal Country is the theme so we are finding ways to connect with the theme as well as get the kids and community involved.”

St Mary’s Primary School Principal Warren Niethe, shared with News Of The Area that this was the first time that the Bowraville schools have joined together to celebrate NAIDOC Week in one school.

Principal Niethe explained that the aim of bringing the schools together and inviting the whole community along was, “To make it broader so that everyone in the community comes together.

“It is great.

“We want to make sure it is a community event.

“The concept of the community coming together is an important one.”

Mark Smith, a language revitalisation teacher from St Mary’s Primary School shared some history and explained the importance of NAIDOC day to him.

“This was a segregated town.

“So language revitalisation is very important to me.

“Without the three things: language, land and people we lose our identity.

“So it is all about identity.

“It is like a tripod, so that we are standing nice and steady and still.

“It was a segregated town unfortunately, but things have gotten better now and it is a fantastic day.

Nationwide NAIDOC Week is held from 4-11 July 2021.




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