St Aidan’s began working on a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) almost four years ago. Encouraged by our relationships with local Elders, including Aunty Theresa Clancy-Powers and Gaja Kerry Charlton, we continue to take steps to understand what Reconciliation looks like for us.
The process is considered, as we learn more about the long history of the surrounding suburb of Corinda and all the people who have walked on this Country for tens of thousands of years. You may have noticed some of our progress, including regular Acknowledgments of Country at school events and the addition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags on campus. We continue to welcome Aunty Theresa and other First Nations Elders into our classrooms and gatherings while we are exploring First Nations cultures and traditions in a number of curriculum areas.
To coincide with the recent National Reconciliation Week, several St Aidan’s RAP Working Group members designed the first-ever St Aidan’s First Nations sporting jersey. First Nations students Rhani, Ella and Zara, alongside Ms Lily Bougoure, designed the jersey which celebrates the richness of our history.
Year 9 Student Rhani Hagan from the Quandamooka, Kullilli and Turrbal peoples, shares her experience growing up as a First Nations person and designing the inaugural St Aidan’s First Nations jersey:
“I always think about my past and my ancestors and how much they had to go through. To be able to design a First Nations jersey that celebrates our cultures is very important to me. For non-First Nations students to be shown this starts the conversation and the education around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Only commencing at St Aidan’s this year, the support I have received has inspired me to express my culture even more and to educate other students around me. This is just the start. I want the education and awareness around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures to continue throughout the school and I want to leave a legacy of continued education well beyond my education here.”
Ms Lily Bougoure, a proud woman of the Lardil and Waanyi peoples, shares her thoughts on the steps St Aidan’s is taking towards Reconciliation:
“As an Indigenous staff member, I see this as a positive step towards achieving Reconciliation. We plan to build on this action in the future years and hope that all Queensland Girls Secondary Schools Sports Association (QGSSSA) schools take a lead in achieving Reconciliation in Australia.”
The jerseys were proudly worn by our Open Basketball, Open Touch Football and Open Soccer teams in the final round of QGSSSA Autumn fixtures, where St Aidan’s also presented hand-painted commemorative balls to the opposing teams.
St Aidan’s staff, students and parents also attended the annual Sorry Day commemorations at the Sherwood Arboretum on 26 May 2021, with students playing an integral part by assisting Aunty Theresa Clancy-Powers with her presentation and laying native flowers at the Bringing Them Home plaque on behalf of St Aidan’s.
Our RAP is progressing well, and we look forward to the future and more learning. We want to develop a sense of pride in our shared history of this land, which has nurtured people for so long. There is a lot to learn, and a long way yet to walk.
We acknowledge the painful history of the Stolen Generations and resolve to walk with First Nations peoples into our shared future.Jump to next article