Mater Dei College program The Whadjuk Gift helps northern suburbs kids get insight into Indigenous cultures

Students from five local primary schools were invited to take part in the Whadjuk Gift at Mater Dei College in Edgewater.
Students from five local primary schools were invited to take part in the Whadjuk Gift at Mater Dei College in Edgewater.

NORTHERN suburbs students recently celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, history and traditions with a day of arts and activities.

The Whadjuk Gift, initiated by teachers at Mater Dei College, is a project based on more than 250 different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations within Australia.

Students were required to connect with their local Indigenous communities and design a shirt that represented that nation.

Whitford Catholic Primary School students taking part in the Whadjuk Gift.

The students then represented the nation where their school is located by taking part in a range of sports-based activities.

Five local primary schools were invited to take part in the project and with 340 students involved, they were able to develop designs for 17 nations: the 14 Noongar nations plus (Torres Strait, Yamatji and Yirrganydji.

Head of visual arts Toby Hurd said he was overwhelmed at how successful the Whadjuk Gift was.

Students from five local primary schools were invited to take part in the Whadjuk Gift at Mater Dei College in Edgewater.

“I felt the positive energy on the day reflected the willingness of all participants to be part of the reconciliation conversation,” he said.

“What started as an idea quickly evolved into something much more significant because of how enthusiastic and open the primary school teachers and students were.”

He said with more than 250 nations across Australia, the potential to grow the project was “enormous”.

Students from Francis Jordan Catholic School in Currambine taking part in the Whadjuk Gift.

“In the future, we want to be bigger and better,” he said.

“The 2018 Whadjuk Gift is only the beginning; we want more students from more schools involved in this event so we can begin to really teach, learn and experience Indigenous culture in an authentic and meaningful way.”

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