Alpine Shire celebrates NAIDOC week 2017

28 June 2017

Myrtleford P-12 students enter the NAIDOC Week School Initiative colouring in competition

Students throughout the Alpine Shire will celebrate NAIDOC week through a School Initiatives program aimed at teaching and celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The theme of this year’s NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week – which runs from Sunday 2 to Sunday 9, July – is “Our Language Matters”. There are 120 Indigenous languages still spoken in Australia today, although this number is significantly down from the hundreds once spoken.

National NAIDOC Committee Co-Chair Anne Martin said the theme will raise awareness of the importance of Indigenous languages, many which are at risk of being lost.

“Each language is associated with an area of land and has a deep spiritual significance and it is through their own languages, that Indigenous nations maintain their connection with their ancestors, land and law,” Ms Martin said.

The NAIDOC Week School Initiative Program involves colouring in and short story competitions for primary school-aged children and creative writing and essay writing competitions for secondary students. These activities are designed to raise discussion in the classroom about Australia’s Indigenous history and culture.

Students at Bright P-12 are currently offered the opportunity to study Indigenous languages – including those of the Dhudhuroa of the Bright area and the Murrinh-patha in Wadeye in the Northern Territory. The Indigenous Studies course is part of the VCE Curriculum aimed at the revival and reclamation of Indigenous languages.

NAIDOC Week Events in the Alpine Shire

• Library Display: Primary School Colouring In competition entries from participating schools from each town will be displayed in their local Library throughout the duration of NAIDOC Week.

• Storytime at Dumu Balcony Café, Bright: Children visiting will learn about indigenous agriculture and make delicious damper. While the damper is cooking, the café will host a story telling in language. Every day from 10-11am on Monday 3 July to Friday 7 July.

• Information Session Dumu Balony Café, Bright: An informative session for the community to learn about the Café’s training initiative in collaboration with the community of Wadeye in the Northern Territory. At this session a member of Thathangathay Foundation will share information about the Murrin Patha peoples. Wednesday 5 July from 3pm to 4pm.

Alpine Shire Council is a proud partner of the NAIDOC week celebrations and School Initiatives.

Image: NAIDOC Week colouring in entries submitted by students at Myrtleford P-12, clockwise from top: Seth Martin, age 7; Sahra Pugh, age 7; Amelia Evans, age 6; Ryder Harris, age 7; Paige Kiss, age 7; Riley Howell, age 7.

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