Har­mony Day suc­cess story

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - ENTERTAINMENT -

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.”

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