Change it up and sing loud to celebrate reconciliation week in Bunbury

Merv Kelly with Bunbury Primary School students Vithusayn Mokhanarajah, Riley Monaghan, Ella Moorhouse, Jonah Golds, Kallen Fantasia, Jessica Turner and Craige Sell.
Merv Kelly with Bunbury Primary School students Vithusayn Mokhanarajah, Riley Monaghan, Ella Moorhouse, Jonah Golds, Kallen Fantasia, Jessica Turner and Craige Sell.

IN the lead up to national reconciliation week, Bunbury Primary School has been changing it up and undertaking activities to strengthen the understanding of the aboriginal culture at school.

Students had a visit from three members from the Southwest Aboriginal Edu-cation Team who spoke about the Noongar people and the impact that settlement had on their lives.

Education team leader Merv Kelly said it was a fantastic opportunity to pass on aboriginal culture and perspectives and see the students so engaged. 

“The students asked relevant questions and were interested and showed a great deal of respect and historical knowledge towards the topic,” he said.

Deputy principal Franca Dillon said respect and diversity were school expectations throughout the year.

Teachers at Bunbury Primary School are encouraged to incorporate aboriginal education as a cross curricular priority of the Australian Curriculum, said Ms Dillon. 

South West MLC Colin Holt announced the theme of this year’s reconciliation week as Change it Up and Sing Loud to celebrate coming together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

South West Mr Holt said it was important to recognise the positive contribution aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have on our past and present lives. 

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan encouraged everyone to get together and show respect for our population as a whole. 

He said one of the great strengths of our community was the rich cultural diversity and proud history of Indigenous individuals and groups. 

“In my capacity as Mayor I am always pleased to participate in activities that promote reconciliation and the Constitutional recognition – I support those goals,” Mr Brennan said.  

 “This year’s theme is great as it encourages new ways for the younger generations to become involved in the reconciliation process between cultures,” Mr Holt said.

Reconciliation week commemorates two significant events in the Australian reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 referendum giving Aboriginal and Torres Straight people recognition in the national census and the 1992 High Court Mabo decision that established Native Title land rights.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the federal Racial Discrimination Act, Australia’s first federal human rights and anti-discrimination legislation.

Mr Holt encouraged people to attend National Reconciliation Week events in their community or join the online campaign.

You can use the hash tag #NRW2015 when posting to social media and let others know about what is happening around Bunbury. 

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