In recognition of this year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations, students at Mountain Creek State High School (MCSHS) have been immersing themselves in the culture of the region’s Indigenous history.
With a national theme of Always Was, Always Will Be, the week recognises the ongoing custodianship and close cultural and spiritual connection to the land and sea of Indigenous people.
MCSHS’s international student liaison officer Fiona Howett says the students were engaging in a range of activities, including a connect-to-country walk, to learn more about the land on which the school sits.
“The land where the school is was considered the refrigerator of the area because there is a lot of food sources in the area,” Ms Howett says. “Over the years we have been slowly learning more about it and the students are becoming more hungry [to learn more].”
As part of NAIDOC Week, Ms Howett was successful in applying for a grant through the National Indigenous Australian Agency, using the money to commission local artist Lyndon Davis to paint a mural in the school grounds.
The mural, located centrally near the school’s canteen, tells the story and history Buderim Mountain and some of the native wildlife.
Ms Howett says NAIDOC Week is a wonderful opportunity to continue educating students on the rich Indigenous history of the area but is also just as important to help continue the stories into the future.
“It’s really inclusive of everybody,” she says. “The students have really enjoyed learning the stories from Lyndon and it’s really important to help carrying it on and moving it to the next generation.”
Postponed from July, this year NAIDOC Week ran from November 8 to 15, but Ms Howett says the school will continue educating students year-round.
“We are excited about our future projects planned for 2021 connecting our school with the traditional custodians of this land Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi peoples.”