The first two weeks of Term 3 in the Library have been centred around celebrating NAIDOC Week. NAIDOC Week – held annually in July – is where we celebrate the history, achievements, and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. It is always challenge to select from so many aspects to celebrate. This year’s theme is ‘Heal Country!’

Younger students imagined the day in the life of a bird through the book Little Bird’s Day, with simple yet powerful text and stunning illustrations. Students connected this text with another bird of their choice to imagine its experience. Many delightful responses were shared, including an emu defending its eggs from a snake and a hawk in the sky spying a mouse below.

Middle year students read about senior Gija and Warmun artist Shirlie Pirdie, who gives a delightful account of her life in the book My Story. Students connected with Pirdie by thinking about the significant people in their lives who have taught them something important.  Thoughtful responses were shared including an aunt who taught them how to fish, a mum who taught her child they deserve their dreams and a cousin who taught them how to play Rat-a-tat-cat.

Senior year students were reading about Indigenous agriculture practices and land management through primary sources with the book Young Dark Emu. Students used a Harvard University ‘See-Think-Wonder’ thinking routine to make observations and interpretations. There were many thoughtful responses, including wondering about the plan when faced with a fire that was hard to control.

Sharing wonderful stories is a perfect way to celebrate NAIDOC Week as the storyteller’s role is not just to entertain, but also to preserve culture while educating the community in the history and traditional values of their people.

It is inspiring to see Hume Anglican Grammar students think deeply about the diverse, important, and interesting themes explored in the books we shared for NAIDOC week. Central to them all – fiction and non-fiction alike – is the concept of connection to, and caring for, Country.  

Siana Einfeld - Teacher Librarian