Our Reconciliation Working Group was formed in 2020 and has been meeting regularly to ensure Rosalie Primary School is working hard to promote Reconciliation in our Community. Please read below for some of the things we have accomplished. We use https://www.narragunnawali.org.au/ to help formulate our Reconciliation Action Plan.
Reconciliation Week 2021
The 2021 Reconciliation theme was, ‘More than a Word’ and we did our best to follow the theme by focusing on actions around our school. Rosalie ran several very important events over the week. We would like to thank the P&C for their generous financial contribution to both Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week. Another big thanks is well deserved for Jaime Yallup Farrant and the Reconciliation Working Group for their hard work in helping bridge the gap between Rosalie Primary School and the Aboriginal community.
Acknowledgement of Country Training – Wednesday May 26
Staff, Reconciliation Working Group Members, School Board and the P&C Executive team were invited to attend and Acknowledgement of Country training session, run by Rhys Paddick from Acknowledge This! It was an engaging and enlightening workshop, with a focus on delivering authentic and heart felt acknowledgements, as opposed to routine readings from a script. Lots of teachers are excited to work with their class on creating their own Acknowledgements, which they may read during their assembly performances.
A Visit from Aunty Lynette Coomer – Friday May 28
We were very lucky to have Aunty Lynette Coomer spend the day at our school on Friday May 28. Lynnette Coomer lived in the Shenton Park camps in the 1950s with her parents, grandmother Melba Bodney, and siblings. She went to Jolimont Primary School when she was seven. Later she, and the next youngest children, were taken to Roelands Mission. Aunty said a few words at the assembly and spent the day visiting classrooms to share her story and knowledge. A highlight for her and our students, was a planting of native hibiscus plants (the official reconciliation flower) with Room 13. You can check out the plants in the garden beds in front of Rooms 5 & 6. Room 13 is now working on the wording for a plaque to place in front of the plants. Aunty Lynette also shared her story after school with staff and parents, it was a deeply moving experience for all those who attended. Her focus on promoting ‘Unity in the Community’ through her tireless volunteer work is inspiring.
Flag Raising Ceremony – Wednesday June 2
Our biggest event of the week, this one made The Post Newspaper. We celebrated the historic event of raising the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags for the first time over Rosalie Primary School. Dr Noel Nannup performed a Welcome to Country and, with the assistance of Jason Barrow and a student representative from each class, a Smoking Ceremony was performed. This included smoking the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. Christo Benjamin and Clara Morrison attended, representing the Torres Strait Islander Community. We had lots of special guests in attendance, including Margaret Culbong, a Noongar elder, Dr Katrina Stratton, member for Nedlands, Leone Cottam-Williams from Reconciliation WA and Penny Taylor, the mayor of Subiaco. The ceremony was a positive and inclusive event that welcomed all. After the raising of the flags we held a bush tucker morning tea, including emu sausages, kangaroo fillets and lemon myrtle cake. The delicious morning tea was supplied by Maalinup Mia.
You can read transcripts from some of the speeches here:
- Mick Wilson (School Board Chair) – speech transcript
- Christopher Nener (Associate Principal & Reconciliation Working Group Co-Chair) – speech transcript
- Laura Wilson and Lynleigh Glass (Classroom Teachers & Reconciliation Working Group Members) – speech transcript
Reconciliation Community Evening – Wednesday June 2
We hosted a Community Evening with Dr Noel Nannup, Jason Barrow and Lynette Coomer. This panel shared their stories and provided insight into what Reconciliation means to them. There was also ‘calls to action’ or things we can be doing to strengthen our relationships and moved forward together with Reconciliation. We had a great turn out, with over 65 community members in attendance.
NAIDOC Week 2021
For NAIDOC Week we had many incursions in the school to provide our students with the opportunities to learn more about the Country we live and learn on. Below are some of the things that have happened.
Years 4-6 – Greg Nannup from Indigenous WA
On Monday 21 June Greg Nannup visited Rosalie Primary School and spent time sharing his detailed knowledge about the local area from a Noongar perspective. He spent time presenting artefacts which included, kangaroo skins, lighting sticks, stone axes and various bush seeds. Greg also talked about the history of the local tribal area. He shared a fascinating story about the fruits of the Zamia palm, which are toxic unless they are soaked in water for at least a week to leech out all of the toxins, which the Noongar people would do by placing them in the river in baskets. Apparently the first Europeans were not aware of this step and some became very ill as a result of eating the Zamia fruit straight away, thinking red must mean they are good to eat, like strawberries back home. As any Australian who has bumped into a red back spider knows, red certainly does not mean good on this side of the world.
Maali Mural – Noongar Artist Incursion with Julianne Wade
On Friday 11 June, children in Years 1 to 4 attended an artincursion with Noongar artist, Julianne Wade. Each classroom had a role in placing painted dots between thewhite painted journey lines. Julianne explained she hadmade white journey lines signifying the seasons, campsitesor gatherings and black spaces for the maali (black swans).She had also included the base and stalks of the balga(grass) tree. We enjoyed reflecting on the seasons and oftenswapped spots with a classmate so that we could paint indifferent areas. We would like to thank Ms Pannekoek for organising theincursion and an enormous thank you to Sinead Gjerde forhelping every class to create our painting. We are lookingforward to seeing the painting on display in a special place inour school.
An Interview with EL2 – Sharon Gregory Language and Songs
What did you do yesterday with Mrs Gregory?
Laura: We talked about words. Then we sang some songs. Then she read a book and then we started our books out of paper and some of us got to finish and some of us didn’t. An emu, a yonga (kangaroo) and an echidna
Rei: The echidna was looking for his friends and his family
Laura: He went past three animals.
Which new Noongar words did you learn?
Margot: Kaya means hello
Jehuda: Wetch means emu
Which part did you enjoy the most?
Jehuda: When we sang the two songs. I don’t know the titles. All the words were in Noongar and some of the words were in English.
Laura: Reading the Noongar book because it told us Noongar words for animals
Zac: My favourite animal was the kangaroo because it can bounce over everybody’s head.
Lucy: I remember when we did the hand movements for emu
Rei: I liked doing the kangaroo part
What was the hardest part?
Jehuda: The echidna name was hard (nyingarn)
As part of our reconciliation journey we have updated our history on our school website to include a Noongar perspective to the changes that have occurred since the tall ships landed. You can read about it here: https://rosalie.wa.edu.au/our-school/our-history/
Embedded Language and Signage Around the School
Acknowledgement of Country
As part of our PALS grant we bought three beautiful plaques to display around the school. Two are Acknowledgements of Country, written with the help of students. The third plaque commemerates the planting of the Reconciliation Flowers with Aunty Lynette Coomer.
We have used Noongar language to link a native brid with each year level. Each link is explained with a short story descibing how that year level represents the bird.
School Fete Mural with Noongar Artist Julianne Wade
On Saturday November 20, 2021 Rosalie Primary School hosted our P&C School Fete. We invited Julianna Wade to run a collabroative mural paiting session with anyone who would like to contribute. It was a highly successful day and we appreciated Julianne’s time. She also left the school impressed with what we are doing at Rosalie.