NAIDOC Week: Shalvey students mark a week of heritage

Mural magic: Shalvey Public School pupils Matthew Beale and Hailley Morris paint a mural for NAIDOC week and to mark the school's 40th anniversary. Picture: Gary Warrick
Mural magic: Shalvey Public School pupils Matthew Beale and Hailley Morris paint a mural for NAIDOC week and to mark the school's 40th anniversary. Picture: Gary Warrick

A permanent reminder of Shalvey Public School's 2014 NAIDOC Day will take pride of place in school's office.

Pupils painted a mural with a rainbow serpent, didgeridoo and other dotted designs on Thursday to celebrate the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and also the school's 40th anniversary year.

About 90 of the 350 pupils identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

School learning support officer Barbara Hopkinson said a sea of paper hands decorated by each child in the school were laid out on a grass area and a corroberee and performances were held in the school hall.

Pupils ate damper before lunch and painted boomerang shapes.

They also made posters about famous Aboriginal people in sports, entertainment, culture and politics using Deadly Vibe magazines as a resource.

"It's a way of teaching all of the children about Aboriginal culture," Mrs Hopkinson said.

"The weather was wonderful and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves."

Mrs Hopkinson said the theme for NAIDOC Week 2014 was Serving Country: Centenary and Beyond to recognise the Aboriginal people who served in World War II.

The mural will hang opposite other pupil artworks in the office hall from the beginning of next term.


THE week-long celebration of Aboriginal culture that is NAIDOC Week grew from a movement of Aboriginal groups early last century who protested against the treatment of Australia’s indigenous people by boycotting Australia Day ceremonies.

In a major civil rights gathering on Australia Day in 1938, protesters marched through the streets of Sydney to mark what became known as the Day of Mourning.

This day was commemorated annually on the Sunday before Australia Day until 1955, when its name was changed to Aborigines Day.

It was then moved to the first Sunday in July and it was then a celebration of Aboriginal culture, not just a day of protest.

The National Aborigines Observance Day Committee was formed in 1956 and the second Sunday in July became a day of remembrance for Aborigines.

The celebration was extended from one day to the whole week from the first to the second Sunday in July.

Its brief was expanded in 1991 to include Torres Strait Islander people and it became known as the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, NAIDOC, the new name becoming the title for the week.

Since 1972 NAIDOC Week has had a theme; this year it is Serving Country: Centenary and Beyond.

The theme was chosen to honour all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who fought in defence of the country.


■UWS, Werrington North Campus: Generations of Knowledge  launch, off Great Western Highway, Building AD, boardroom and boardwalk, noon to 2pm, June26. Join elders for lunch (including bush tucker) and stories. Walk around the campus. Photo exhibition Serving Country: Centenary and Beyond honouring all Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who fought in defence of country, from the frontier wars to modern military conflicts. Unveiling of photos of influential elders.

Details: 96787577.

■Rouse Hill House and Farm: The landscape around Rouse Hill is of cultural significance for many Darug people. Local elders share cultural knowledge of woodcarving and stone tools. Animal-drawing workshop: Use ochre and learn about native animals in a special show-and-tell with Darug Custodian Leanne Watson. On July12, 10.30am to 12.30pm, 356Annangrove Road, Rouse Hill (opposite Bunnings). Cost: $8 (adults), $4 (concessions), $17 (families).

Details, bookings (essential); 96276777.

■Penrith Council: Family fun day at Jamison Park. All ages. Small animal farm, activities, kids’ face painting. Mixed netball and football games for adults. York Road, South Penrith, 9.30am to 3pm, July11, free.

■Blacktown Council: Family fun day at Blacktown Showground, Richmond Road, 11am to 4pm, July5, free.

■Parramatta Council:

Aboriginal stories, painting and music; create your own Aboriginal art at Ermington Library, Tuesday, July 8, 11am to noon, suitable for ages 6 to 12, call 96382270 to book, free; at Granville Library, 2pm to 3pm, suitable for ages 6 to 15, call 96374270 to book, free.

Aboriginal craft activity at Constitution Hill Library, learn skills to decorate your own ornamental boomerang, suitable for ages 0 to 5, call 98962201 to book, free; at Parramatta City Library, learn about traditional art styles, suitable for children aged 4 to 10, 2.30pm to 3.30pm, call 98065159 to book, free.

Aboriginal cultural workshop, Dundas Library, Friday, July 11, 9.30am to 11am. Experience traditional music, language and storytelling, suitable for children aged 5 to 14, bookings essential, call 96381146, free; at Guildford Library, 2pm to 3pm, call 96326744.

Burramatta family fun day, July 13 from 11am, Parramatta River foreshore, music, entertainment, bush tucker barbecue, suitable for all ages, call 98065050, free.

Aboriginal story time with Redsee the Readasaurus, experience songs, dance, rhymes and stories on Friday, June 27 at Parramatta City Library, 10.30am to 11am, free, call 9806 5159 to book.

This story NAIDOC Week: Shalvey students mark a week of heritage first appeared on St Marys-Mt Druitt Star.


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