Dharawal Country students awarded for cultural leadership

Briar Road Public School Year 3 students Aynahla and Serenity are proof you’re never too young to show leadership when it comes to cultural knowledge

Image: NAIDOC Week award winners Serenity Brown and Aynahla Alone

Winners are grinners at the Briar Road Public School’s annual NAIDOC Awards, which bring together community and students to celebrate their combined achievement in cultural development and Aboriginal education.

“This year’s theme is Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up, and it sings to the heart of what we all need to do as Australians,” school principal Tammy Anderson said.

The awards recognise both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, recognising that culture is for all to understand and participate in, as well as acknowledging the work of the Aboriginal community.

“There are many people who have been champions of change and our school is certainly thankful for them,” she said.

Stand out students at the 2022 awards include Aynahla Alone and Serenity Brown.

Aynahla Alone is a Year 3 Aboriginal student who has developed her leadership skills in the area of cultural knowledge. She is a key member of the Aboriginal student dance group and is an active member of the Aboriginal student body. She is of Gamilaroi and Tongan descent and is an exceptional role model for all.

Non-Aboriginal student Serenity Brown is also in Year 3 and has shown curiosity and advocacy during cultural lessons. Serenity is of Maori descent and already brings a wealth of knowledge to First Nations education. She has only recently transitioned to the school, however is highly respected amongst her peers and is viewed as a role model for other students.

The 2022 NAIDOC Awards were held on Wednesday 29 June as a sit-down dinner in the school hall on Dharawal Country – the first time in person since the school started them in 2019.

“We continued to celebrate the achievements through virtual awards, however being together face to face gives us the opportunity to be with community and celebrate cultural excellence,” said Ms Anderson

Guests included significant Aboriginal community members, Aboriginal Elder Uncle Ivan Wellington, local singer Hamani Tanginoa and Director for Education Learning Clayton Reedie.

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