National Reconciliation Week 2023

Celebrating National Reconciliation Week at Ascham, our students and staff actively listened and learned from First Nations people about their cultures, languages and histories through dance, music, stories and yarning circles. We listened to our students, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, as they shared their stories and personal reconciliation journeys. It truly was a week in which NRW’s 2023 theme ‘Be a Voice for Generations’ was heard and felt.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples face discrimination and racism every day and we are sadly experiencing this being played out across our media channels of late. As a school, we strive to honour our Ngara Commitment so that it is also in our hearts and minds each day. Together we share a reconciliation journey so that, as a community, the rights of First Nations people are not just respected but championed.

During NRW, we were honoured to host Thomas Mayo, a Kaurareg Aboriginal and Kalkalgal, Erubamle, Torres Strait Islander man, as our Books n’ Breakfast special guest. Thomas was integral to the process of, and a signatory to, the Uluru Statement From the Heart, which he recited for our community. Thomas has travelled the country for six years, sharing the Uluru Statement and speaking to the history of various petitions for an Indigenous voice. We learnt from his wisdom and are so grateful he took the time to share his stories and perspectives, and sign his books for us. Thank you, Thomas!

At our whole-School Assembly for NRW, student leaders Hannah and Alex (Senior School), Grace (Fiona) and Shuyuan (Hillingdon) led the ceremonies. We welcomed back to Ascham 2022 graduate Grace Gibson, who is a proud Gumbaynggirr and Cakacudrove woman. And we were honoured to have special guest, Uncle Gumaroy Newman, a proud Gamilaroi and Wakka Wakka man, address our assembly and perform a smoking cermony. Uncle Gumaroy spoke on the cultural significance of smoking ceremonies, showcased poetry, language and music, which engaged everyone from Prep to Year 12, and invited all to join in!

Staff and students from Prep to Year 6 united on the Fiona lawn to create a Sea of Hands in the shape of the Aboriginal flag. They drew images, symbols and words on each hand to encapsulate their individual interpretations of reconciliation. Each hand conveys a personal story, and collectively they embody our support and solidarity with our First Nations people.

Our beautiful Indigenous sports jerseys, designed by 2019 Ascham graduates Destiny Peris and Shakirah Stevens, once again adorned our sporting teams for National Reconciliation Week. We celebrate and recognise the power of sport in promoting equality, diversity and unity among our teams and beyond!

These were just some of the ways that we honoured 2023 National Reconciliation Week here at Ascham. It will be a treasured memory and live on as part of our Ngara Commitment as we listen, learn and grow.

Watch our 2023 NRW video to see how we marked and celebrated National Reconciliation Week at Ascham.

#nrw2023 #beavoiceforgenerations #alwayswasalwayswillbe

5 Jun 2023

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