Chisholm Catholic College students collaborate with Aboriginal elders

Shane Willshire (gifted and talented coordinator), Carina Leutheusser (y8), Aimee Robbins (y8), Aggie Manel (Aboriginal liason officer), Alex Papas (y8) and Zia Finos (y8). Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au   d492090
Shane Willshire (gifted and talented coordinator), Carina Leutheusser (y8), Aimee Robbins (y8), Aggie Manel (Aboriginal liason officer), Alex Papas (y8) and Zia Finos (y8). Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d492090

A BEDFORD school is working with local elders to create a project in a bid to connect with Aboriginal culture and heritage.

Chisholm Catholic College’s Stellatus students, who are part of the college’s gifted and talented program, are working on a project which ties in with Catholic Education WA’s Transforming Lives: Strategy 2025 document.

The project is expected to finish in time for Reconciliation Week which runs from May 27 to June 3.

Year 8 teacher Paul Shanahan said students work in groups with a mentor who helped them with their project work.

“They are investigating and developing strategies that encourage our college community to engage with and embrace these connections,” he said.

“Students are developing various prototypes that aim to engage the community effectively and highlight a particular aspect of our local Aboriginal culture, history and heritage, as well as significant Aboriginal people from our local community.”

Year 8 student Zia Finos said the aim of the project was to help Aboriginal students benefit from catholic education and help them to lead inspiring careers.

“The idea that my group has thought of to help this cause is incorporating Aboriginal education into the current education system,” she said.

“We have decided to present this idea through a lesson plan and art mural of tiles representing the cooperation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.

“Working with local Aboriginal elders is informative and enjoyable…the stories they tell hold insightful messages for life morals.”

Fellow student Aimee Robbins said her group were presenting their findings in a painting of the Chisholm crest with Aboriginal art.

“From this experience, I would like to gain knowledge of local aboriginal culture and people, and how art represents values similar to Chisholm,” she said.

“I would also like to take out how important beliefs are to each culture, and that it is important to respect their beliefs even though they might be different to ours.”