Last week our staff and students celebrated NAIDOC Week with a range of engaging activities that focused on this year’s NAIDOC theme, Voice Treaty Truth.
Students were invited to participate in NAIDOC with a range of Indigenous lunchtime events, including the inaugural Interhouse Indigenous Sports Competition, tasting native Indigenous foods and hearing about boodja (our land).
One of the highlight’s of the celebrations included staff and students attending a Storytelling session and morning tea in support of The Healing Foundation, where Ron Bradfield of Yarns’r’Us shared his family’s story of The Stolen Generation and created a yarning circle for reflection and positive recognition.
Participating students became our college’s Healing Ambassadors and presented stories that they had created across the week in Ron’s sessions, which culminated in a shared performance by 50 students about working towards acknowledgement and reconciliation.
Our Media Arts Ambassadors were involved in the celebrations by interviewing people about their knowledge of NAIDOC week and Indigenous history.
To celebrate the Indigenous heritage of the Fremantle area Media Arts teacher Jemima Dove collated a booklet called “Whadjuk Country, Local Spaces Near JCCA”.
Here are some highlights from the compilation:
- The area now known as ‘Fremantle’ was first known as ‘Walyalup’. Its first meaning is “place of the Walyo or Woylie” or Kangaroo Rat, and it also means ‘the crying place’ or the ‘place of tears.’
- Walyalup was the place where the local Whadjuk people used to hold their funeral rites.
- Walyalup was a meeting place between the land dogs ‘Dweda’ (dingoes) and the sea dogs ‘Wardan Dwerda’ (dolphin/porpoise).
- Cantonment Hill is a site of Dingo Dreaming. Local knowledge states that there is a connection between the dingo and the sea dogs, where one guards the river and the other guards the sea.
- Rocky Bay is the location of the Waugal Cave. Nyoongar say it is a sacred rock as it is the resting place of the Waugal, the snakelike creature responsible for the creation of the Swan and Canning Rivers and other waterways and landforms around present day Perth and the south west of Western Australia.
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Wherever you live you can take part in NAIDOC Week celebrations and to find out about NAIDOC Week activities in your area visit https://www.naidoc.org.au/get-involved/naidoc-week-event