‘Now More Than Ever’

National Reconciliation Week is held every year from 27 May – 3 June. These dates are significant because they mark the dates of the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision. St Aloysius College is now in the third year of its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The RAP outlines the actions our schools is taking to advance reconciliation and create meaningful opportunities to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community. You can read our school’s RAP here: 2024-SAC-RAP.pdf

National Reconciliation Week is a hive of activity at SAC. From music to culture, stories and language and opportunities to learn about the history of Reconciliation, all faculties and students across the school lead and learn in the journey towards Reconciliation.

Showcasing First Nations Authors and Illustrators

National Reconciliation Week was celebrated in the library as we showcased First Nations authors and illustrators in all our story sessions. Our Year Two students enjoyed sharing Adam Goodes’ Walk with Us and went for their own short walk where they were encouraged to ‘switch on their senses’ and experience the sights, sounds and smells of Country. Year One students used Bronwyn Bancroft’s beautiful illustration style in Come Home to Country to create colourful birds to nest in our library tree. Our Year Five students have been exploring song lines and the Year Sixes appreciated learning more about Sorry Day. Other year levels have enjoyed being immersed in our First Nations picture book collection. Lunchtimes were also popular, with craft activities to celebrate the importance of this special week. 

Ms Ali Ripberger
Teacher‑Librarian | Information Services Coordinator

National Reconciliation Week in the PE Faculty

This year SAC netballers will play in the Indigenous Round with newly designed bibs that celebrate Aboriginal culture, designed by Year 12 Tatum McLean and Year 10 Alexis A’Hang. Their design acknowledges the land on which SAC sits and the proud history SAC has in educating girls.

“The netball bib we designed represents our school and wider community coming together. As an all-girls school you can see the symbol for woman on the bib in the outer corners. We wanted to also represent the land that we live, play, and work on, Kaurna land, so we did kangaroo tracks on the sides of the bibs, because Tarntanyangga (Aboriginal name for Victoria Square) means red kangaroo dreaming. We are located right by Tarntanyangga so we thought it was important to represent that on the bib. We are really grateful for the opportunity, and we hope you love it as much as we do! Tatum and Alexis

NRW in the Music Department

On Wednesday morning, the Primary Choir and the Year 5 and 6 classes were visited by Jessie Lloyd, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musician who performs a broad collection of Australian Indigenous songs. An award-winning composer, performer and creative entrepreneur, Jessie is a cultural practitioner of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and is dedicated to the continuation of cultural traditions through the presentation of both contemporary and traditional Indigenous music.

“Jessie Lloyd came to teach us about language, culture and Indigenous songs. I got to see her twice because she came to our Primary choir session as well as a session with all Year 5s and 6s. Jessie is a courageous, influential woman. She inspired me to keep working on my dream of being a performer. I liked her song Red, Black and Yellow. It had a very catchy tune and made me think about the importance of the Aboriginal flag and what it means.” Frieda Jerebica 5AV

“Jessie was a very inspirational woman whom I really admired. I really liked how Jessie Lloyd tried to encourage all of us to learn more about the language and songs from the Torres Strait Islands. I liked how she talked about the meaning behind the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags while making it entertaining with her singing and instruments. She was positive and engaging and I was led to discover lots of new information. Jessie was spectacular!” Faith Rewai 5AV

Ms Fiona Turner
Music Coordinator

NRW in the Nunga Room

The Nunga Room is open every Tuesday during lunchtime for our First Nations students to come together to hang out and share in fun activities. It’s a space for students to build bonds with and connections with people in different year levels. This fosters a strong sense of community and cultural identity, allowing students to have a strong support system at school. During National Reconciliation Week, the students enjoyed designing and decorating their own boomerangs, which they took home as special keepsakes.

Later that week, our secondary First Nations students made damper (a type of traditional bread) which was a delicious treat! Food and food-preparation is important to culture and tradition, and the students really enjoyed themselves, while practicing their cooking skills. After a patient wait for the damper to cook, came the obvious highlight of eating it together in The Nunga Room during a rainy lunchtime. 

Another highlight of the week was spending time with and learning from Kira Bain, a Kaurna language teacher and proud Ngarrindjeri woman. Kira taught many students during her day at SAC, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Students learnt some Kaurna introductions, simple greetings, and conversations. Teaching Kaurna language is crucial in preserving First Nations culture, respecting Kaurna People, and the land we are on, while also fostering reconciliation.

Ms Maja Tongerie
Learning Support Officer

Reconciliation Week in JAM (Justice & Mercy)

Quest for Reconciliation – A Scavenger Hunt with a Difference

As part of SAC’s recognition of Reconciliation Week, JAM ran a scavenger hunt. Facilitated by the secondary JAM students, the scavenger hunt transformed the Dunlevie courtyard into a timeline of historic Reconciliation moments in Australia’s history. This gave students the opportunity to retrace these important steps towards Reconciliation. Upon completion of the scavenger hunt, the theme “Now More Than Ever” was revealed to students. This year’s theme for NRW is an ongoing reminder continue working towards reconciliation, even in times of adversity. When they reached each Reconciliation milestone along the scavenger hunt, students were given a puzzle piece and worked together to piece together the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, symbolising the need for collective effort and collaboration to continue the work of reconciliation in the future. You can see our flags pieced together in the National Reconciliation Week video! 

Ms Mia Konopka
JAM Coordinator

Wear It Yellow Day raises $442!

SAC was a sea of yellow for our annual Wear It Yellow fundraiser on Friday, supporting First Nations organisation, Children’s Ground! For a gold coin donation, students and staff donned bright yellow ribbons, scarves, earrings and even yellow eyewear. Wear It Yellow Day raised $442, which will go towards improving the economic, social and educational outcomes for First Nations youth, through Children’s Ground. Thank you to the many families who participate in and contributed to Wear It Yellow Day. 

Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration 

On the evening of Wednesday May 29, a number of staff and students were honoured to represent the College at the 17th Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration, hosted by The Don Dunstan Foundation.  Professor Tom Calma AO presented the 2024 Oration. He reminded us that young people will lead us towards a more just and reconciled Australia. The evening concluded with a powerful communal song, led by First Nations singer-songwriter, Nancy Bates.

The Last Daughter Film Screening

To mark the end of National Reconciliation Week, several staff attended a film screening of The Last Daughter. The film conveys the compelling true story of Aunty Brenda Matthews, a Wiradjuri woman from New South Wales, who was removed from her biological family during the 1970s and spent many years being raised by a non-Indigenous foster family. The film conveys reflections from members of Aunty Brenda’s biological and foster families, and the heart-wrenching impact that Brenda’s absence had on all their lives, as well as on Brenda’s own cultural identity. Aunty Brenda, who attended the film screening, left the audience with this powerful message: “We all live on this land together. Along this journey, I have learnt to reconcile within myself, so that I can reconcile with others. We listen with our ears, but when we go within ourselves to listen, we can often find the answers we truly need. In sharing this story, there’s heartbreak, but there’s joy too. It invites others into the circle and through story sharing and truth-telling, we take steps to reconcile.” 

Ms Maddie Kelly
JAM Coordinator