Broadford celebrates NAIDOC Week

Broadford Secondary College students Willow Ridley and Caitlin Webb receive some tips from teacher and Koori support worker Crystal Sheehan as part of NAIDOC Week celebrations.

Broadford Secondary College celebrated NAIDOC Week last week with a series of activities including boomerang painting.

NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This year’s theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years and acknowledges that Australia’s history did not begin with European contact.

While original plans for the school’s NAIDOC Week celebrations included a bush tucker barbecue, COVID-19 restrictions prevented that from taking place and new activities were arranged including quizzes and art.

On Wednesday afternoon, students were given the option of choosing from several different activities, entering a NAIDOC Week poster competition, painting boomerangs or playing traditional games.

Teacher and Koori support worker Crystal Sheehan said students were more excited to take part in an activity when they were given the choice.

“They’re always excited about art and I think what makes it a more appealing is that the kids have chosen which activities they do in the afternoon… they’ve chosen to be here because they’re excited about it and want to get involved,” she said.

Broadford Secondary College student Amelia Brennan.

Ms Sheehan said NAIDOC Week is especially important at Broadford Secondary College, home to 25 Indigenous students.

“Some of them are really excited about it and really look forward to getting involved, some of them like to take a step back and watch it all happen and watch everyone else getting involved with it as well,” Ms Sheehan said.

“I think it’s really important to acknowledge that it’s NAIDOC Week and celebrate the traditional owners and I think it’s important for the kids to see us doing that.

“I think that some of them aren’t sure of what’s happening, so it’s really raising awareness and bringing their attention to it, so we get a fair few of questions about NAIDOC Week and why we are doing this and I’m happy to answer it and they’re like, ‘this is exciting, let’s get involved’.”