Year 7’s Explore National Reconciliation Week Themes

During this morning’s long Dharna session, our Year 7 cohort came together inside the Specialist Building for a session dedicated to the ideals and themes of National Reconciliation Week (NRW).

By way of an introduction, the students were treated to a medley of classic songs performed by Indigenous artists – these included Mitch Tambo’s version of “You’re the Voice”, Yothu Yindi’s “Djapana” and “Treaty” and the Warumpi Band’s “Blackfella/Whitefella”. Copies of the lyrics were distributed to the students so that they could follow along with the tracks and try to interpret the important messages contained within.

Following the screening of a wonderful Acknowledgement of Country that was created by PLHS students last year, Ms. Wanda Jarvis spoke eloquently to the group. After explaining the basic concept of reconciliation, Wanda outlined some of Australia’s reconciliation-based historical events, before unpacking this year’s NRW theme of “Now More Than Ever” and the accompanying chevron artwork (both detailed below).

The students were then asked to participate in a small group activity throughout the building – they were given a NRW24 poster and encouraged to formulate a commitment to action based on what they had heard and learned throughout the session. The sounds of Baker Boy/Bernard Fanning’s “Wish You Well” collaboration, and Paul Kelly/Kev Carmody’s anthemic “From Little Things Big Things Grow” helped to set the positive mood. Although time ran out before the Year 7’s could finish decorating their posters with colour and pattern, their constructive commitment statements were thoughtful and heartfelt.

Later in the day, several PLHS students also attended and participated in a Reconciliation Week event at our local TAFE SA – this included Year 7 student Lyndah Jeffrey-Richards delivering a Welcome to Country, partly in her native Barngarla language.

Congratulations to our Year 7 students (and Dharna Group teachers) on their positive engagement with this morning’s events – from little things big things grow indeed.

National Reconciliation Week’s theme for 2024 – “Now More Than Ever” – is a reminder to all of us that no matter what, the fight for justice and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must continue. The 2024 NRW artwork and design represent this theme through the use of the chevron; this universal symbol for pointing the way signifies advancing as one as we look towards a reconciled future. The vibrant artwork of Gubbi Gubbi artist Maggie Douglas encourages connecting with one another, understanding and continuing to move forward.

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