NAIDOC Week 2018
St Anne’s celebration
Our day celebrating NAIDOC week included a gathering on the grass area as a whole St Anne’s community. We said as Acknowledgement of Country, and spoke of the amazing role Aboriginal women have taken in supporting, embedding and embracing their culture and community.
“Because of her, we can.”
On the grass we had tables of Bush Tucker including damper with honey and fruits from local roadside stalls such as mandarins
We also made face paint from clay, children’s faces were decorated in symbols and patterns (stripes, circles, dots, swirls) with indigenous meanings.
We had music and instruments – tapping sticks.
It was a wonderful celebration as a whole community, recognising the significance of our Australian First Peoples culture, now and in the future for continued Reconciliation.
St Anne was the mother of the Blessed Mother of Jesus, Mary. The Catholic Church assigns each canonised Saint a “feast day” to especially remember them. Our Children’s Centre was named after St Anne.
In January 2015 Adam Sullivan (Assistant Principal of Holy Family Catholic Primary School) gifted us with two unique statues that he had crafted from timber—St Anne and her daughter Mary (the mother of Jesus). The statues were blessed by Fr Michael Nilon, the Parish Priest of Ballina’s St Francis Xavier Parish, on Friday 24 July 2015. They stand humbly together in our Centre’s foyer
Monday 3 July – NAIDOC Week Ballina Walk – Two of our St Anne’s teachers, Fiona and Narelle, joined in Ballina’s Annual Celebration Walk along with other members of the Ballina community to celebrate NAIDOC Week and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture, history, and achievements. When communities come together as one as they did for this walk, the purpose (for the walk and the celebration) is strengthened.
Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. Most dog attacks involve children in the 0-8 age range and a high number of these attacks also occur in the home environment where children are bitten by their own dog or one known to them. Educating children and their families ensures the child-pet relationship is not only physically and emotionally rewarding but also a safe one as well.
This program is delivered using role play, story, song and a “real dog” brought in by the Programme Educator to teach children: things we should not do to dogs, how can you tell if a dog is happy, scared or angry, a safe way to approach and greet a dog, and what to do if approached by an unknown or aggressive dog.
Reconciliation Week, 27 May to 3 June, Let’s Take the Next Steps” was acknowledged and celebrated at St Anne’s in a way that was meaningful to young children with educators talking to children about friendship, acceptance, getting along, respect, celebrating difference and understanding.
The older children worked together on collaborative artworks, read Dreamtime stories then represented them through artwork. The Preschoolers also experienced a “Sharing Culture” performance by Gwenda Stanley, a member of the Young Australian Workshop Aboriginal Education Group, who shared with them dance, story, artifacts and language.
This year our Seabirds Preschool Class has made two visits to “Crowley” to sing, dance and chat with the residents in the facility’s new amazing and accommodating Entertainment Room. We see on these visits, the spirits of young children “lifting the spirits” of the older folk as they sing along to familiar songs such as Hokey Pokey, Little White Duck, London Bridge, Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes, and Advance Australia Fair.
On Monday 21 September, Gareth Jones from Sound Synergy, visited St Anne’s with his collection of beautiful Djembe drums and percussion instruments, to facilitate an interactive workshop of rhythm and beat, with the Centre’s Shells Room children (2-3 year olds), Rockpools Room children (3-4 year olds) and Seabirds children (4-5 year olds). Each child, as part of a group, is able to work with Gareth with their very own Djembe drum ensuring a community experience and an amazing sound. This is the second year we have engaged Gareth to work with our children – we now look forward to next year!