Learning from Elders in NAIDOC Week
The NAIDOC Week theme was embraced by students at Berala Public School. Pascal Adolphe reports.
06 July 2023
Indigenous students at Berala Public led the school’s NAIDOC Week celebrations and highlighted the significant role played by their Elders.
Year 6 student Hope Cleary said it was wonderful that the theme for NAIDOC Week this year was ‘For Our Elders’.
“We have a proud history in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and we can continually learn from our Elders,” she said.
“I have a strong connection to my history, and I am a proud First Nations student. I cherish my Elders and learn from them every day. Embracing our Elders helps make all our futures brighter.”
Hailey Cleary, also in Year 6, said Elders were valued in the lives of Indigenous Australians.
“Across every generation, our Elders have played, and continue to play, an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families,” she said.
“They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones.”
The NAIDOC Week celebrations at Berala Public School, on Dharug Country, was also a fundraiser for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, with gold coin donations raising $475.
The celebrations featured cultural activities including an Acknowledgement of Country from Year 4 student Trae Lawson and a traditional smoking ceremony by the Koomurri Aboriginal Elders. The Berala Public School choir performed the song ‘Inanay’ in the Yorta Yorta language.