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Girls Grammar Students Attend SAIMA's Mabo Day Event

On Saturday 3 June our Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Papua New Guinean boarding students attended a commemorative Mabo Day event held by local Torres Strait Island organisation SAIMA.

Our Rockhampton Girls Grammar School Torres Strait Islander students were invited to perform traditional dances from their home islands to represent their families and their culture.

The girls have been working tirelessly with Boarding Supervisor MJ Dorante to learn each other’s dances and perfect their performances. These students looked beautiful in their island dresses and their performances were lovely.

Our Aboriginal students also attended the event representing their cultures with their faces and bodies traditionally painted in ochre.

Our Papua New Guinean students also wore their traditional meri blouses proudly representing their culture and their home.

Year 10 Torres Strait Islander students Nellabbey and Rosie shared a speech recounting the life of Eddie Koiki Mabo and the hardships he faced during his fight to gain Native Title for his home of Mer Island.

Year 11 Aboriginal student Maggie also presented a speech which detailed the Native Title fight of her own traditional clan group, the Lamalama people of the Coen area situated in the Cape York Region. The Mabo decision set a significant precedent for the rest of Australia which encouraged other traditional owner groups (such as the Lamalama people) to also campaign for their own Native Title rights.

Throughout the day, our students were able to witness fantastic performances from the St Brendan’s Torres Strait Islander dance group as well as the Tu Te Awaroa Maori Dance Troupe.

Our Girls Grammar students represented our school, their families and themselves proudly. The day ended with a spread of traditional foods and singing of hymns to express thanks to all in attendance.

Shania Conlon

Indigenous Liaison Officer


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