On Wednesday we celebrated NAIDOC week with a special whole school assembly. This is a time in July every year where we celebrate the history, culture and achievements of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, their families and members of the Girls Grammar community.
This year’s NAIDOC week theme is Heal Country! calling for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage. I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to the students and members of our school community who spoke and shared their thoughts on what NAIDOC week means to them during the assembly. To hear them speak with such pride about their tribe, what the theme Heal Country means to them and its significance to their history, culture and traditions was a moving experience.
Sharing and celebrating students’ cultural backgrounds is an important part of the holistic development for all our students at Girls Grammar. By feeling a sense of ‘connectedness’ students experience an increase in positive emotions which in turn positively influences their social connections with others. Research states that humans are cultural beings and the connections that we have with culture will influence the way we see ourselves and what we think is important. It shapes our attitudes about mental health and wellbeing. When students practise and share aspects of their culture, they feel good about themselves, learn about and appreciate our human similarities and differences.
Seeing the connection between the girls, music, dancing and culture during their performances was inspirational to watch, and the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members added to the sense of emotion of the assembly.
Thank you to everyone who played a part in the morning’s events. To the staff and family members who have dedicated their time to rehearse with the girls and plan for NAIDOC celebrations, your passion and enthusiasm is evident and greatly appreciated.
Deputy Principal - Students