Students appreciating Indigenous history

Mr. Tim Packer takes part in an Indigenous game with students Erin Smith, Dakoda Penna and Indiana Mitchell for NAIDOC week.
Mr. Tim Packer takes part in an Indigenous game with students Erin Smith, Dakoda Penna and Indiana Mitchell for NAIDOC week.

Students at St. Joseph’s Primary School in Clare learnt about the history of the Indigenous Australians in the Mid-North region last week in celebration of NAIDOC week.

NAIDOC week runs from the first Sunday to the second Sunday in July each year and celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Tim Packer, Year 4 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focus teacher at St. Joseph’s, said NAIDOC week celebrations were helping Indigenous families feel included in the community.

“The Indigenous families we have at this school are really keen to make their kids feel really comfortable with their aboriginality or their Torres Strait Islander connections,” he said.

St. Joseph’s have been taking part in celebrations for the last 15 years and have been teaching their students about the Ngadjuri peoples, the traditional owners of the land in the Mid-North.

Mr Packer said that the students love celebrating NAIDOC week and learning more about Indigenous history.

“Kids just want to know the truth, they want to know what happened so they are naturally curious and naturally they want to work it out.

“They are absolutely amazed with the Dreaming stories.”

This years theme for NAIDOC week is our languages matter, aiming to bring awareness back to the unique dialects in Australia.

Mr. Packer said that the kids at St. Joseph’s were being taught some of the Ngadjuri dialect as part of celebrations, teaching them more about the region’s history.

“Even though we do not have any Ngadjuri kids at this school, kids are still really keen to learn about the language that was here.

Kids enjoy the Ngadjuri language, we have kids in the class who in their spare time get out their Ngadjuri book and just write out words and then try and create stories.

Mr. Tim Packer - Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander focus teacher at St. Joseph's

Nine year old Lenni Rodwell, a Year 4 student at St. Joseph’s, said it was important that NAIDOC week was celebrated because “every language matters.”

“We get to learn about Indigenous stuff and it is really fun,” he said, “I just love Indigenous people.”