Serendipitously, Reconciliation Week coincided with all our students returning to face-to-face learning at Maclean High School. This year’s Reconciliation Week theme was ‘All in This Together’. The staff at Maclean High School worked hard to remodel activities for the week, particularly the River of Learning Celebration Day that was planned for Wednesday 27 May.
It would have been our eleventh whole-school and community event. We, instead, made a series of podcasts and short films that were screened each day during Pastoral Care for the duration of Reconciliation Week. The productions, made by staff, covered topics such as reconciliation and its meaning, the significance of smoking ceremonies, the description of the physical boundaries of the Gumbaynggirr, Yaegl and Bundjalung nations, and a reading of Paul Keating’s famous speech about Reconciliation in 1992. Staff and students were also asked to participate in a National Acknowledgement of Country that went live last Wednesday through the Reconciliation Australia website and Instagram.
There were some activities planned for the students during the week, such as mobile art and craft displays and a thumbprint activity for all students to contribute to the 2020 Maclean High School Reconciliation Week canvas. Many people worked hard to put all these resources together and have managed to make our River of Learning Celebration Day and Reconciliation Week shine through all the COVID guidelines. Special thanks to Sam Kapeen, Deborah Breckenridge, Krystal Randall, Anjanette Warburton and Belinda Cameron.
Please visit our school website to view our short films and resource Padlet developed by the staff.
During the COVID lockdown and remote learning, our Aboriginal Education Team came up with ways in which to engage the community about Aboriginal Culture, particularly the Yaegl perspective, where students and staff could work together to create relevant and long- term resources. We have created a series of podcasts that can be used in the community now and in the future. These podcasts were shown in the school during Reconciliation Week.
Podcast 1: Words associated with Reconciliation, Maclean High School staff
Podcast 2: The significance of Smoking Ceremonies, Sam Kapeen
Podcast 3: The Uluru Statement, Krystal Randall
Podcast 4: Australian Declaration Towards Reconciliation, Deborah Breckenridge
Podcast 5: An excerpt of Paul Keating’s Redfern speech in 1992, John Ambrose
Podcast 6: Capturing Country, Anjanette WarburtonStory contributed by Liza Hamilton from Maclean High School. Published in 2020.