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Rosny College celebrate NAIDOC Week with Welcome to Country

ROSNY College has acknowledged its past cultural heritage through celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during NAIDOC Week by holding its first ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony.

NAIDOC Week is held from the first Sunday of July and is about celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with there being a different theme each year.

The theme for this year was ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future’.

Rosny College Aboriginal education worker Cathy Ransom said Rosny College celebrated the start of NAIDOC Week in a unique way.

The Aboriginal students from Rosny Mob performed three traditional dances and a smoking ceremony that followed a cultural path into the college.

“We’re looking at growing our cultural awareness, so we asked the Aboriginal students to tell us what they thought would lift our cultural identity at the college,” she said.

“We asked everyone at the ceremony to come and take part in the healing smoke, and then we took the healing smoke through the college to suck out all the bad energy and make way for new, good, clean energy.”

Ms Ransom said Nita Education, which helped deliver the event, raised the presence of Tasmanian Aboriginal culture in the college.

“The students involved were so empowered by it – you could see 50,000 years of their culture coming to the fore while they were performing for everyone,” she said.

“If you’re Australian it’s part of your history, and a lot of Aboriginal students haven’t had cultural empowerment of any kind and don’t really know much about their culture.

“For these guys to realise it’s part of their DNA and it’s part of who they are and how they think is incredibly powerful.”

Rosny Mob member Jarrod Cripps was involved in the Welcome to Country Ceremony through speech and dance.

“Being part of the Welcome Ceremony was an extremely powerful and grounding experience,” Jarrod said.

“Being fully ochred up for the first time and presenting the opening Welcome to Country and then dance with such strength alongside everyone else was something that took me to a totally different head space.

“It generated a whole new level of self-respect and pride in my identity and culture.”

The 17-year-old said he wanted to teach the wider Australian population about Indigenous culture.

“NAIDOC Week to me means a time of the year in which I can take part in my cultural activities with other members of community,” he said.

“And it’s a time of the year I can potentially learn new things about myself and partake in sharing culture with others.”

Throughout the week, Rosny College also held a number of NAIDOC lunches that included native foods.

Caption: Rosny College celebrated NAIDOC Week by showcasing its Indigenous culture through a Welcome to Country ceremony.

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About the Author: Eastern Shore Sun

The Eastern Shore Sun is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 30,000 homes and businesses in the communities of Clarence and Sorell. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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