Always Was, Always Will Be

This week we celebrate NAIDOC Week at Ascham!

We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which we learn, grow and come together as the Ascham School community. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

As the NAIDOC Committee reminds us, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.

In recognition of 65,000 years of First Nations People occupying and caring for this country, this year’s NAIDOC Week theme is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’. Our Year 10 PDHPE students at Ascham have recently been studying the 2019 documentary The Final Quarter about AFL player Adam Goodes and the racism he experienced, particularly sustained booing from football crowds. The girls have analysed the issue of booing in sport from various perspectives and were very fortunate to have a Q&A session with Alex Shain, the Education Director of The Final Quarter. Students were able to discuss with Alex the process of making the film, accessing archives, and how we can continue to work on putting an end to racism. Alex’s responses to our girls’ questions were intriguing and he showed an obvious passion in educating young Australians about confronting racist behaviours and attitudes. When asked how we can do better in this country, Alex spoke about the need to always question what we read in the media.

NAIDOC 2020 is encouraging all Australians to embrace the true history of our nation. Years 7 to 10 Ascham girls will have further opportunities to explore this in the upcoming Indigenous Workshops at the end of this term.

Happy NAIDOC Week, everyone!

Image: Detail from Ascham Old Girl Shakirah Stevens’ 2019 Visual Arts HSC body of work ‘Gunggandji Dreaming’

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