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On Thursday 26 May we conducted a special Senior School Muster to introduce National Reconciliation Week, with the suitable theme of Be Brave, Make Change. Our Indigenous Advisor – Uncle John Lochowiak commenced proceedings with a Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country. During Muster current Year 12 student, Andrzej Czechowicz (HWD) interviewed Uncle John. Andrzej asked some terrific questions which prompted Uncle John to describe what totems are and signify the importance they have in Aboriginal culture. This led to some meaningful dialogue about our Indigenous guernsey design, and the significance it has to our SPSC community and two of our Indigenous students (Leon Connop & Nathan Spry). This was an important message for all our young men and staff to hear to better understand the reasoning behind our Indigenous guernsey design.

Indigenous Round of Sport

An initiative we continued this year was for each sporting team and their opponents to come together and participate in an Acknowledgement of Country before competition commenced. It was fantastic to witness many winter sport captains stand in front of their peers and opponents to Acknowledge Country. On Thursday 26 May, Uncle John, Mr Barnaby Eaton, and Mr Joab Mead presented the Open A Basketball Team with their Indigenous designed playing singlets. The Basketball players and staff then proceeded to the Main Oval where they stood arm in arm with the Senior Football players, a special and meaningful moment. Uncle John conducted a Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country to lift their spirits and wish them luck for their annual game against Rostrevor College during Indigenous round. The Open A Basketball team had a fantastic win against Rostrevor College, playing fantastic team basketball. Unfortunately, our Indigenous designed football jumpers didn’t arrive due to shipping issues. We are hopeful they will arrive soon, and will wear them multiple times before the season ends. It is our hope the sport program can continue to evolve this significant round of sport and for more sports to be involved each year.

Cultural Awareness Training

During past National Reconciliation Weeks the Student Reconciliation Committee group and staff have developed Mentor activities based around the year’s theme. This year we had a fantastic School-wide initiative for a majority of our community to complete a Cultural Awareness Training course. Our goal was for all Senior School Students and all staff to complete the important training. The course focussed on the following: respectful language, Indigenous Australian culture, the shared history during European settlement, the truth behind many myths regarding First Australians, and how we can all foster respectful relationships. We have had a total of 531 students either commence and/or complete the course, an excellent accomplishment thus far. The course has received tremendous feedback and I would like to thank Stephanie Cabot, Astrid Innes, and Leigh Clarke for all their work in developing the course. Please encourage your son/s to complete the course and discuss these important topics.

Junior School & Early Learning Centre

During National Reconciliation Week, Junior School classes and the Early Learning Centre were privileged to welcome Uncle John to celebrate and learn about Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. He completed 30-minute sessions and allowed the boys to learn through his story telling. It is fascinating to witness how interested the boys are and thank you to the Junior School and Early Learning Centre for all the work you are doing in this space. This has been an ongoing initiative for the past few years and Uncle John is having a huge impact on our future leaders of St Peter’s College. Thank you to Uncle John and all of the staff for making this possible.

Joab Mead
Indigenous Programs Coordinator