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Head of Prep School Update

College Blog Head of Preparatory School Update
11 June 2021

In this week's article, Head of Preparatory School, John Stewart discusses National Reconciliation Week, visits from special guests Tjimari Sanderson-Milera and Vonda Last and more.

From 27 May to 3 June we celebrated National Reconciliation Week, a week when as a country, we reflect upon how the decisions of previous governments affected the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families for several generations.

In the Preparatory School, we began the week by sharing the importance of Sorry Day with the boys. Then, representatives from the College, including our Preparatory School Captain, Devesh Anavkar, attended the Sorry Day Breakfast and heard from members of the Stolen Generation about how their forced removal from their families and their traditions and culture affected them.

Over the week, the Preparatory School boys were delighted to be visited by Tjimari Sanderson-Milera. Tjiamri is an Aboriginal man from the language groups Kokatha (West Coast), Narungga (York Peninsula), and Kaurna (Adelaide Plains), where he spent time growing up and being on country with his family. Tjimari led the development of Kumarninthi Cultural Education. The word “Kumarninthi” is a Kaurna word for “Becoming One”. Tjimari shared his culture and its history with the boys, bringing in artifacts including his didgeridoo, boomerang, crushing stones, ochre, and chalk.

On Friday, at our weekly assembly, the Year 3 boys led the school through a beautiful reflection on Sorry Day and the importance of Reconciliation Week. The boys presented to the Preparatory School about the Stolen Generation and played the official apology from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for attendees.

Our recognition of Reconciliation Week concluded with an extraordinary performance from Vonda Last, an Aboriginal songwriter and performer. Vonda spoke beautifully about her experiences as an Aboriginal woman and about her parents, who were members of the Stolen Generation. She also performed two of her songs.

The week was a special one for the Preparatory School. Not only did it help the boys to consider the impact of removing children from their families, but it assisted our boys in understanding why we must remember to ensure such actions are never repeated.

I want to thank our boys for their open-minded approach to the week and our team of teachers who brought our important guests to share with and educate our boys.

John Stewart
Head of Preparatory School

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