Harmony Day success story
MOSSMAN State High School celebrated Harmony Day along with Closing the Gap day last Friday, with the unveiling of a plaque acknowledging traditional owners of the land.
The celebrations came about as a result of students Chaseley Walker, Darien Williams and Anna Ganaia who went to an indigenous leadership conference last year and came back with an action plan.
The plan included a permanent acknowledgement of traditional own- ers of the land, the Kuku Yalanji people.
And on Harmony Day they unveiled a plaque of acknowledgement and also a new school sign written in Yalanji with translation.
Several traditional owners spoke to the school on the day including Denise Walker who said harmony comes from within and the new plaques were a step in the right direction.
“Never before has there been a sign in Yalanji,” she said at the ceremony.
“It has a great significance and shows the com- munity that indigenous and non-indigenous can feel at home at the learning place of Mossman, Mossman High School.
“Closing the gap - we can do many things, we can find ways we can contribute in the community and in the schools.
“Throwing money around towards closing the gap doesn’t matter, it all comes back to the individual, you, me, we don’t need money, we need to as individuals choose to close the gap.”
And the school’s principal Deborah Kachel said Harmony Day was a day to celebrate the cultural diversity of the school.
“Harmony Day this year has a theme everybody belongs,” she said.
“And it’s time to reflect where Australians comes from, recognising the traditional owners of the land and celebrating where people have come from.
“Closing the gap, it’s about each of us making a pledge to work together in friendship and respect, with equality for all people, especially indigenous Australians.”