National Reconciliation Week 2019


‘Grounded in Truth, Walk Together With Courage’

Ascham marked and celebrated National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 2 June) right across the School.

Watch our video – it provides insights into our commitment to reconciliation and highlights some of the great experiences of the week.

Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation created a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony that was a moving start to the week for our entire School, heralding a true sense of respect and commitment by our community to the reconciliation process. All girls from Prep to Year 12 and staff gathered to listen to stories and music, and dance together. The ceremony provided a meaningful opportunity for our community to deepen our understanding of Australia’s Indigenous history, peoples and culture.

During the week we welcomed to Senior Assembly Emma Hicks, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Coordinator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Learning Programs; Ros Thomas from the Association of Independent Schools addressed teachers on our obligations around Indigenous teaching; and NITV journalist Rachael Hocking talked to the Senior students about perception and balance in the media we consume.

Our SchoolAid Kids Ambassador Team leaders invited all members of the School community to purchase a set of black, red and yellow ribbons to wear. The funds that they have raised from the sale of these ribbons will directly support the Gunbalanya School, a remote school situated across the East Alligator River from Kakadu National Park in Arnhem Land, with which Ascham has an ongoing connection.

Bruce Pascoe’s TEDx Sydney Talk about Indigenous agriculture was screened and discussed during Senior Form time, and Year 9 Drama students performed a piece in Senior Assembly inspired by their study of reconciliation.

An Ascham family installed works from their collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art for the whole community to enjoy. And a wonderful film made by one of our students accompanied the works. In addition, Ascham students won first and second prize in the Pauline McLeod Art Competition for Reconciliation Week in the K-2 category, at Woollahra Council.

On Saturday 1 June the 1sts teams in Netball, Hockey, Football and Basketball wore t-shirts printed with artwork created by two of our Year 12 students. In developing their design, Destiny and Shakirah said, ‘We aimed to embody our Ascham School community in our Indigenous Round shirt design: The red at the top symbolises the coming together of women to a meeting place. The dolphins are emblematic of our School. As written in the School diary, the dolphins symbolise energy, persistence and the ability to swim against, as well as with, the tide. Dolphins also symbolise harmony, which encapsulates the spirit of reconciliation. The water represents our location within the Eora nation in Sydney, surrounded by our beautiful waters.’

National Reconciliation Week has been a rich time of learning for all of us and we will continue to explore ways in which our community can continue to work towards greater levels of reconciliation.

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