We held our NAIDOC week Celebration on Tuesday 26th July, together as a College community. We were delighted to welcome family and community members to participate in the school assembly organised by the First Nations collective. Dale Wright led the procession into the assembly playing the Yidaki (Didgeridoo). Following this the SRC representatives joined us in acknowledging Country and physically demonstrating their support of this year’s theme Get Up Stand Up Show Up. Our First Nations Prefect Jed Chandler delivered a powerful and emotional speech on what being Aboriginal means to him as a proud Bidjigal man and the realities of the racism he has faced, urging the whole school community to do and be better. During the assembly the school’s Reconciliation Action Plan was launched with Principal Mr Gough, Aboriginal Education Coordinator Nadia Neal and First Nations Prefect Jed Chandler signing off on the document. We also acknowledged the work of Year 12 mentors with our Stage 4 students who participated in our internal Mentoring Program. Thank you to all who came, participated and celebrated with us on the day.
The following Tuesday, 2 August, ERC hosted the Northern Illawarra Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) Meeting. Jake Potter, our First Nations Vice-Prefect welcomed the representatives from the local schools to this meeting where we shared the publication and progress of our Schools RAP alongside our Aboriginal Community Volunteer of the Year – Julie Street-Smith. Thank You to Aunty Donna for providing catering for both of these events.
Reconciliation Action Plan
While NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate culture, we also had the opportunity to launch our Narragunnawali Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in the presence of the community. We have been consulting with community and working on this over the past three years officially and, for the last twenty years, have been making progress towards understanding the part we all have to play in reconciliation. I want to acknowledge the work of former staff members Jackie Scheers, Pat Callan and Kiarra Smalle in this progress.
Our full Reconciliation Action Plan has been published on the Narragunnawali Platform. It is a living document and as such is continually changing and being updated as we work towards all of our goals. There are 30 areas of action and improvement in our plan and we invite you to walk with us on this journey to be a community that fully reflects our values of compassion, service, dignity and solidarity. You can find the Plan here: https://www.narragunnawali.org.au/raps/19401/edmund-rice-college
Our Commitment to Reconciliation: Edmund Rice College is committed to creating an empowering atmosphere that facilitates the dignity and personal growth of all members of the community. As a Catholic school framed in the Edmund Rice tradition, the College recognises the need for all students to understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ histories, cultures and perspectives and that this is integral to their understanding of Australian society and to the process of reconciliation.