During National Reconciliation Week 2024, our school community has come together to reflect on the importance of building respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and all Australians.  

The National Reconciliation Week website reminds us why we mark this time: 

The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. 

Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

We all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures, and futures. 

This year’s theme, “Now More Than Ever,” emphasizes the urgent need to acknowledge our shared history and continue the unfinished work of reconciliation with greater commitment and action. Through education we have a powerful platform to build respect, truth telling, the courage to call out racism and to develop a deep appreciation for the gifts that aboriginal culture and spirituality can bring to us all. Our Tjatjarrang students and FIRE Carriers led us through assembly helping to build understanding around different symbols and practices. It was a particularly special moment when Grace Tournier welcomed us to country in language. To hear words of the first language spoken on this land from one of our own students was a powerful moment. Throughout the week, students engaged in various activities and daily prayer reflections. We also spent time this week further developing our draft Reconciliation Action Plan. These initiatives aim to foster understanding, respect, and a commitment to social justice, embodying the values of compassion, justice and solidarity central to our Catholic faith. 

On Tuesday we welcomed visitors from O’Loughlan College in Darwin who have joined the New Metrics partnership with the University of Melbourne.  It was a wonderful opportunity to share our journey and celebrate the work of the students and staff. In a conversation with a Year 8 student after their Growth Day last week, the student shared with me how they had learned they were a good communicator with different age groups including adults and that they can be very productive and efficient. The capacity to recognise, articulate and apply these skills in varying contexts is at the heart of our new Metrics work as we ensure our students receive a holistic education. 

Thank you to all families who attended our Senior Pathways Information Evening and Subject Expo. It was one of the largest crowds we have had in years, and we are grateful for your commitment to engaging in the process of supporting your daughter’s learning. The journey from Year 9 into the senior years marks the transition into being able to pursue personal interests and passions. We recognise that students sometimes feel overwhelmed by the choices or want to ensure they are forming the best pathway to support their aspirations beyond Year 12. Our staff, especially Steph Baulch, Learning Leaders and senior students are all valuable resources to speak to as your young person formulates their plan.