NAIDOC Week is a significant cultural event for our College. It is a celebration of more than 65 000 years of history, culture and achievement but it is also a time to chart a just future for all.
Last week we celebrated NAIDOC week at the College with an Assembly marking the start of a week of activities to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
This year’s NAIDOC theme – Heal Country – provides us all here at La Salle with an opportunity to Learn, Heal and Grow.
Learn that Country is more than just a place. It forms part of our identity. We can say that we are Australian or Western Australian but apart from a location, does that really explain who we are?
For our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Country is an inherent part of their identity. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people speak of Country like a person sustaining their lives in every aspect – spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and culturally. Their Country is a part of them and makes them who they are as people and from them we can learn so much.
As the caretakers and custodians of our land they treated it with respect, only taking what they needed. For thousands of years they cared for Country and that Country has cared for them, providing food and water to sustain many, many generations.
Strict lores were in place to ensure the continued plentiful supply of food. Food was shared. The old, very young, sick and disabled were cared and provided for.
There are so many things that we can do to Heal Country and it starts here within our own school. Students can learn from their peers about the importance of Country, particularly those who are proud children of many different Aboriginal communities from the North East Kimberly, the Torres Strait Islands and the Swan Valley. They can develop a better understanding of their culture from their classes and interactions. We must grow and work together to develop a strong and just future for our nation, one where Country is protected and in turn we are all protected.
Finally, I would like to thank the staff and students who have worked tirelessly to provide all within our community with a very memorable NAIDOC Week. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the leadership of Ms Bethany Farmer and Mr John Lolias and the Aboriginal Education Team.
Thank you and God Bless
Giovanna Fiume | Principal