Bringing His Spirit Home: Podcast launch

Bringing His Spirit Home: Podcast launch

Our school was privileged to have students attend the podcast launch of “Bringing His Spirit Home: Private Arthur Thomas Walker, Ngarrindjeri Anzac”. This podcast, which is an initiative of the Virtual Australian War Memorial, documents the story of Private Arthur Thomas Walker who fought in Gallipoli. It might be surprising to know that many Aboriginal men and women fought for Australia in World War 1 despite the fact that government regulations excluded them from enlisting and leaving the country. However, First Nations people have cared for this Country for millennia so it makes sense that they would have fought to protect this country and the freedom of the people living within it.

Reflection of the podcast launch BY yEAR 7 STUDENT, Nekeesha:

Being able to go to the podcast launch was a rare and exciting experience for all of us. It was interesting to hear about the podcast and what it was about, and what a national significance it had. It was about honouring Arthur Thomas Walker, who was a Ngarrindjeri ANZAC. We started with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by Uncle John Lochowiak (Arthur Thomas Walker’s great-grandson) in front of the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander War Memorial. He sang a song in his mother language which he said was to diminish evil spirits and purify our spirits. As we were walking inside after the ceremony was finished, Mrs Graney pointed out what a coincidence it was that earlier that morning we had the Easter mass and there was the incense​​​, which like the smoking ceremony is used for purification. This had us thinking about how the two experiences were similar and this really resonated because Uncle John had talked about how finding our similarities would help bring Reconciliation. When we went inside, there were three speeches. The first one was by Kyam Maher, minister for Aboriginal Affairs. After that, Uncle John Lochowiak gave a speech to us about his family’s fascinating story. Then our last speech was by Megan Spencer, the podcaster, who spoke about the honour and process in creating the podcast. Overall, the launch was very wonderful and special.

Ms Viviana Graney
First Nations Focus Teacher