SOMERLY Primary School embraced Naidoc Week celebrations this term through music, dance and art activities.
Art specialist Rhiannon Bartley said the Clarkson school welcomed the Moorditj Mob visitors from Wesley College who shared traditional Aboriginal storytelling through music and dance on June 23 and 26.
“Moorditj means ‘excellent and strong’ in the Nyoongar language, and we wanted Somerly students to make the connection between understanding and valuing culture and maintaining strength and focus through high school,” she said.
“The Naidoc theme this year is ‘Our languages matter,’ and the Moorditj Mob shared some Nyoongar words, as well as symbols used in art, didgeridoo music and memerising dances.
“The Moorditj Mob gifted the school with a special message stick, used commonly by their ancestors as a means of communicating between different Aboriginal tribes – here it represented an appreciation for the opportunity to come and share their stories and skills.”
Miss Bartley said students had also been exploring the artwork of Wagiman man Nathan Patterson, an artist who lives in Victoria.
“Nathan creates powerful narrative artwork that incorporates the dreamtime stories of his people and land with beautiful light and energy,” she said.
“Students have enjoyed observing the different animals in his artwork and finding connections between his stories and their own experiences.
“Nathan’s values of respecting culture and the environment are values we want to nurture in all of our students from diverse backgrounds.”