Although NAIDOC Week, the first week of July, fell during the school holidays this year, local schools made sure it did not go unacknowledged, as most held educational activities celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture a week early.
On Friday, Roebourne District High School held its annual NAIDOC Week event, a communitywide “elders and oldies” birthday celebration for the many local elders who grew up with July 1 assigned as their birthday.
Principal David Paine said NAIDOC Week was an important event at the school.
Students, staff and Aboriginal corporation and community members cooked stew, damper and roo tails and were entertained by live music by band the Roebourne Ramblers.
Tom Price Senior High School, where about a quarter of the student body is of indigenous heritage, held a day of activities several weeks early on Friday, June 24.
Students had an assembly about the history and significance of NAIDOC Week, including the meaning of this year’s Songlines theme, and participated in activities including painting murals and boomerangs and making jewellery, headbands and friendship bands.
There was also some healthy competition on show as a weeklong NAIDOC Week school netball competition came down to a staff v students showdown, with the students coming out on top.
Tom Price Senior High School Aboriginal Islander Education Officer Jasmine Callaghan said the school had gone all out with activities for National Reconciliation Week a month ago, so had opted for something “a little more simple” for NAIDOC Week.
St Paul’s Primary School in Karratha acknowledged NAIDOC Week on Tuesday when Roebourne-based performer Patrick Churnside gave a welcome to country and taught students about the land and boundaries of the Ngarluma people.
It was followed by a special liturgy, cooking, art and dance activities and a barbecue lunch.
St Paul's Primary School student Siria Kickett, 9, celebrates NAIDOC Week.