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Aboriginal Reconciliation

Aboriginal Reconciliation

Reconciliation at Newman College

Newman College has committed to strategically and practically building a culture which acknowledges, affirms and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culture and traditions. Our commitment has seen the launch of the College’s first Reconciliation Action Plan in 2020 as endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. A copy of the Reconciliation Action Plan can be downloaded below:

Download Newman College RAP

As a Marist School we strive to embed our Marist characteristics every day; Family Spirit, In the Way of Mary, Simplicity, Presence and a Love of Hard-work. At the core of these characteristics is the developing of relationships that are imbued by our family spirit. To this end, we want our staff, students and families to increase their understanding, value and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, knowledge and rights through cultural learning. We strive to create a culturally supportive environment so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander and other Australian families build a community of respectful and right relationships.

Reconciliation at Newman College - Aboriginal Artist in Residence

Newman College strives to be a school of choice in Western Australia and will embed this vision through a set of important principles and practical actions to ensure we become a Catholic school of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders. The Reconciliation Action Plan embodies our commitment to Reconciliation. This commitment will be exemplified by engaging and up-skilling our staff in professional learning that enables a stronger understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their culture, community and contribution. We want to develop and design places in our College that are culturally engaging, that include visual representations in partnership with representatives of the Whadjuk Noongar people. Underpinning this intent is to ensure that our teaching and learning programs are embedded with Aboriginal learning outcomes as identified and sequenced in the WA curriculum learning areas.

We are committed to Reconciliation through social and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as part of the implementation of our Reconciliation Action Plan. This would include but be not limited to, broadly promoting the Aboriginal Student Bursaries to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student participation at the College.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan commits us to continuing to promote an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities, cultures, histories, heritage and aspiration. We look forward to journeying with our dedicated staff, our students and their families, Catholic Education Western Australia and Marist Schools Australia to implement our Reconciliation Action Plan and continuing our journey towards Reconciliation.

Current Reconciliation Activities

The ‘Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group’ at Newman College has driven the implementation of a number of specific programs to steer us positively towards the launch of the Reconciliation Action Plan. The Arts Department has been instrumental in delivering a range of opportunities for students to engage in programs aimed to enhance their understand of Aboriginal culture, history and traditions. This has included:

Artist in Residence Program 2019

Newman College welcomed local Noongar artists Rohin and Bradley Kickett, along with prominent WA artist Andy Quilty to work with student from Year 2 to Year 12. Students were tasked to work alongside the artists in the creation of a collaborative mural depicting Noel Nannup’s Creation Story. The outcome was that over 100 students contributed to the creation of a magnificent original artwork that is now proudly displayed in the Marist Auditorium. The program is captured in the below documentary.

PALS Performance – Junior

Newman College actively participated in the PALS Program in 2019. Students from Lavalla Y5-Y6 worked collaboratively to develop this amazing theatrical adaptation of Dr Noel Nannup’s Creation Story, ‘The Carers of Everything’. Students worked with and alongside local Aboriginal consultants in the development of the performance, gaining an understanding into the story and traditional local culture.

PALS Performance – Secondary

Newman College secondary students professionally recorded and distributed ‘Koort Doodjarak Yewool’  (Heart Song), an original Acknowledgement of Country, written by Newman College music teacher Mrs Nicole Boddy. This extensive program included language workshops with      Della Rae Morrison to teach the Noongar language to Newman College choir students. The recording was completed in collaboration with Della Rae Morrison’s Indigenous singers choir, who performed alongside the students. Koort Doojarak Yewool was also sung at the opening of the Catholic Performing Arts Festival Closing Ceremony by a mass choir.

Bursaries

As a CEWA school, Newman College supports and endorses the CEWA Aboriginal Education Team in striving to ensure Aboriginal students have equitable access and participation in the Catholic schooling process, and every opportunity to achieve educational outcomes equal to that of their non-Aboriginal peers. This includes access to Aboriginal Student Bursaries. Applications are invited from Aboriginal families who would like their children to receive a Catholic secondary education. Parents/guardians of eligible students are invited to lodge an application with their selected school early, as the number of bursaries are limited in each school. Information and application forms are available from the principal.

For information relating to Newman College Aboriginal Student Bursaries, please contact the Registrar at registrar@newman.wa.edu.au