NAIDOC week is an annual event that is held in Australia from Monday 6 July until Friday 10 July.
Standing on Sacred Ground
This year the national theme is ‘We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate’. The theme highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea. Sacred places can include rivers, lakes, beaches, bays, inlets, hills or mountains. Also considered sacred are ceremonial grounds, galleries of rock art and engravings, and places that are used as gathering sites for cultural practices.
During this week, all Greenwood centres will be learning about and celebrating Indigenous culture and history. Children will be participating in expressive art activities using natural ochres, developing their musical skills through singing, as well as learning about the many Aboriginal language groups.
In addition, some of our amazing Greenwood staff (including Tiahla from Greenwood Macquarie Park) have an Indigenous background, and we’ll be celebrating this important week with them.
“Here in Australia we’re fortunate enough to have one of the richest and oldest continuing cultures in the world. This is something we should all be proud of and celebrate.”
-Dr Tom Calma AO, Reconciliation Australia Co-Chair
Indigenous Australian Workshops
We will be engaging the children in cultural workshops where they can learn firsthand about Aboriginal culture.
Special Indigenous visitors will be running workshops throughout NAIDOC week at each centre. The workshops will teach the Preschoolers about Aboriginal culture through storytelling, symbols and Aboriginal dance. Preschool children will then celebrate their new cultural awareness by creating their own dance movement performances for the younger children to watch and share the knowledge.
Learning About Aboriginal Country Areas
Australia is made up of many Indigenous country areas and languages – we will be encouraging children to discuss geography and learn about languages.
Tiahla from Greenwood Macquarie Park comes from a rich Indigenous heritage. Tiahla’s Mother’s side comes from the traditional lands of the Dainggatti people, and on her Father’s side is the Bundjalung people. The children will learn about geography through the Aboriginal Australian map and the many language groups it includes as well as where Tiahla’s family comes from.
Indigenous Australian Flags
We can develop the children’s understanding of the three official flags of Australia. Through learning and art experiences they will explore the meaning behind The Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Islander flag.
Here’s how Yuin Tribal Elder Guboo Ted Thomas explains the important meaning behind the Aboriginal flag:
“The Aboriginal Sunrise Ceremonies are very special to our people. It starts when the sky is black, beautiful black. When the sun’s yellow circle arrives, it turns the sky red. This is why the Aboriginal flag is half red, half black with a yellow circle in the middle.”
Aboriginal Art and Symbols
We will be encouraging the children to gather knowledge of Aboriginal culture through symbols and how these symbols traditionally communicate meaning through colourful ochre artworks.
Aboriginal Art has survived for thousands of years and continues to be one of the oldest art forms practiced today. Symbols are very important in Aboriginal Art and communicate many different things such as their lives on earth, their rituals, food, animals, customs and spiritual rituals.
Traditional Torres Strait Islander Song
We will be extending the children’s understanding of song by teaching them how to sing a beautiful Aboriginal lullaby called ‘Inanay’ (a Traditional Torres Strait islander song). Tiahla at Greenwood Macquarie Park learnt this song as a child, and she is excited to share this lullaby with the children.
This experience will also encourage creativity as part of our G Talent program.