Aboriginal Program and Reconciliation Opportunities 2021
At Woodleigh School, we recognise the importance of truth-telling. We value not only learning about but from First Nations people. We honour their teachings and acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the custodians of this land.
At the Senior Campus, we have an Education Program for Aboriginal students. This program aims to facilitate opportunities for our Aboriginal students to explore connections to culture and cultural opportunities beyond Woodleigh School. At the heart of this program is our partnership with former Woodleigh teacher Peter Aldenhoven, CEO of Men's Business at the Hastings Gathering Place, Willum Warrain. Peter is the former Director of Indigenous Education at Woodleigh, and he established the programs that we run at our Senior Campus.
In Term 1, our Aboriginal students had the opportunity to spend time with Peter at Willum Warrain. They learnt about the history of 'Willum,' toured and explored the newly established gardens and surroundings, and listened to stories. The students also shared their connection to their own country.
We look forward to continuing this mentoring with Peter at Willum Warrain throughout the rest of the year.
AJ Williams- 'Buwanha Guulany'
In 2019, AJ Williams established the 'Buwanha Guulany' Mentoring Program at Woodleigh School. This name is from the Wiradjuri phrase for 'Cultural Branch - growing like a tree.'
AJ is the Director of Girraway Ganyi Consultancy, an Aboriginal business based in Balwyn. He works Australia-wide to promote better mental health, education, and community engagement in Indigenous communities. In 2019, awarded the Frankston Mornington Peninsula NAIDOC Community Award.
Last term, AJ spent a day with our Aboriginal students. They had the opportunity to visit Nairn Marr Djambana, the Aboriginal Gathering Place in Frankston. We will be continuing to work with AJ in Terms 2 and 3.
Woodleigh School Reconciliation Group
We have reconciliation meetings with a focus on different political and social issues. This term, we will be planning events for Reconciliation Week. These meetings are open to all students and staff. We also aim to meet across campus with Minimbah and Penbank a couple of times each year. Students wanting to be involved in our Aboriginal Exchange Programs to Ampilatwatja or Laynhapuy are expected to be a part of the Reconciliation group.
Aboriginal Exchange Opportunities
Open to Woodleigh Senior Campus students.
Woodleigh has had a connection with Laynhapuy (formerly Miwatj) in North East Arnhem Land for the past 14 years. The Yolngu people are culturally solid and proud. We have hosted Laynhapuy staff and students when they have visited us, and they have welcomed us to their country on many occasions. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we won't be able to see this region in 2021, but we hope to return in 2022.
We have invited members of the Ampilatatja community to revisit us in October this year. We are also aiming to see them on their land, in early December, as part of Woodleigh School's Broadening Horizons Program. It is a thriving partnership program that has been running for the last 12 years. Ampilatwatja is in Central Australia, approximately 4 hours northeast of Alice Springs. The focus of the visit is to link in with the Ampilatwatja community through their school and visit another remote homeland school called Irultja. We spend time in the classroom and with the children of the community. Ampilatwatja also has a thriving Arts Centre and Arts community.
Wednesday 2 June 2021 - a date for your diary
As part of our Reconciliation Week celebrations, we will be holding a Reconciliation Dinner at our Penbank Junior Campus on Wednesday, 2nd June. Join us for guest speakers and performers. It will be open to all Woodleigh families. Book early, so you don't miss out. More information to follow.
Aboriginal Student Program
We would love to hear from you if you are an Aboriginal student attending Woodleigh and you would like to join this program.
Community Partnership Visit to Ampilatwatja 2021
Students interested in being involved in the Ampilatwatja Program this year (yet tbc) Email or speak with Ms. Saunders in Jago.
Director of Indigenous Education