By Claire Ottaviano
NAIDOC activities continued at Clayton View Primary School this week to recognise the importance of the annual event and lift the spirits of the community.
Due to COVID-19 the national NAIDOC Committee postponed NAIDOC Week celebrations until November 8.
Principal Sharon Marchenko said the Koongamia school decided to run their event as per the normal calendar to bring some positivity back into the community after a disjointed start the school term.
“By adding just a little normality for our students we hope our students will be able to resume the continuity, structure and increased success for their education,” she said.
“Catering for a high percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students our school’s extensive diversity acknowledges our Whadjuk students of the local Swan region while recognising other Noongar students from the South West region of Western Australia.”
The school also incorporates students from as far north as the Kimberley region to the east coast of Victoria with students from a diverse tribal range including Wongi, Yamitiji, Martu, and Gunditjmara tribes.”
Mrs Marchenko consulted with Indigenous members of the community including Noongar woman and current P&C president Bridget Headley before proceeding with the planned event.
Local Noongar Elder, Neville Collard gave a Welcome to Country and performed a traditional ritual smoking ceremony before students rotated through cultural activities.
Activities included dancing, boomerang art design and symbol drawing run by staff, native flora planting in the school’s creek beds led by East Metropolitan Regional Council horticulturist Catherine Levett as well as rock art, traditional shelter building and bush tucker activites by Mr Collard and his family.
Students also sampled kangaroo tails and fresh Damper cooked in the schools fire pit while staff member and Yamitji man Cohen Fowler played the Didgeridoo.
The finale of the day concluded with an interactive performance by musicians Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse.
“Clayton View Primary School will continue to offer cultural experiences throughout the year to support expanding educational enlightenment and improving further forms of cultural inclusion,” Mrs Marchenko said.