NAIDOC Week 2021

In Week 2 of Winter Term, we celebrated NAIDOC Week by recognising the achievements, history and culture of Indigenous Australians. Guided by our Indigenous Student Programme Coordinator Micheal Spratt and our Indigenous students, we participated in dance, listened to stories and discovered the art of playing the didgeridoo. The week was wrapped up with our annual NAIDOC Week Assembly, featuring a smoking ceremony by Noongar Elder Neville Collard and a poignant speech by Professor Simon Forrest.

Discover why NAIDOC Week is important to our Indigenous students, what being Indigenous means to them and learn more about this year's NAIDOC Week theme, 'Heal Country'.

Tell us about yourself and your family.

Taigh Haji Noor-Fuller (Year 7, Bruce): I'm from Broome and my tribe is Bardi.

Te Akauroa (Taka) Simon (Year 7, David): I'm from One Arm Point Aboriginal Community and my tribe is Bardi.

Robert Bonney (Year 7, Bruce): I'm from Kalgoorlie. My dad's family is from Kalgoorlie and my mum's family is from Geraldton.

Benjamin (Ben) Stack (Year 8, James): I'm Whadjuk Noongar and my ancestors are from Northam, near Dwellingup.

Cooper Matera (Year 8, Robert): My family is from Wagin and Gnaala Karla.

Dallmyn Kelly (Year 8, James): Kaya, I come from the Whadjuk, Ballardong and Yued. Yued is north of Perth and the Ballardong Country is north of the Wheatbelt. I'm a Whadjuk Noongar man.

Nicholas (Nic) Chi (Year 8, Bruce): I'm an Indigenous boy from Derby town. My language group is Nyikina Worora.

Timothy (TJ) Jorda (Year 8, Andrew): I'm from Mowanjum and my tribe is Nyikina.

Jett Sibosado (Year 10, Ferguson): I'm from Lombadina, which is 200km north of Broome on the West Kimberley coast. I am from the Bardi tribe. My culture is centred on coastal living as we are saltwater people. I am also Wardandi, a tribe from the Margaret River area.

William Wolf (Year 12, Keys): On my maternal grandmother's side, our family belongs to a place called Kurtal, a waterhole situated in the Great Sandy Desert. My people are the Wangkatjungka tribe of the Great Sandy Desert and they were ancient rainmakers. They made rain in one of the most remote parts of the desert.

Who inspires you?

Ben: My uncle inspires me because he's wise. We get along really well.

Cooper: Both of my parents inspire me. My dad played AFL and that's what I want to do when I'm older. My mum is a very generous and kind person.

Dallmyn: My parents inspired me to be a good person. My Mum and Father want me to be the best version of myself and I find inspiration from all of my family. Adam Goodes, the footballer, inspired me to not be afraid of your colour.

Robert: My brother inspires me. I want to grow up to be like him.

Taka: The person who inspires me is my uncle because he's a good role model and he takes me places.

TJ: The person who inspires me most is Michael Jordan because he's one of the greatest basketball players in the world and I want to be like him one day.

Taigh: The person that inspires me is LeBron James because he's really good at basketball.

How does your life at home differ from your life at Scotch College?

Jett: Unlike the Scotch community, my community at home is mostly made up of my family. I get to spend time with my family, go fishing or crabbing and this is how I connect with my culture. In Perth, I don't get the opportunity to do those things as much as I want to. Life at Scotch is good because I live with my mates and get to share most experiences with them. The boys at Scotch have become a second family to me.

William: When I was younger, my dad would take me to Jigalong when he was doing law business. In the mornings, I stayed with my nanas in the top camp. In the afternoons, we'd all sit down together, eat and celebrate. All the food we ate was prepared by my nanas. After a week of being there, my mum would come down pick me up and take me back to Port Hedland. When I think about my life before Scotch, I had a lot more family around me. Members of my family would often come over and stay in our house. To me, this symbolises the connection to each other and our connection to culture.

Our culture has been passed down by generations before me. It's not featured in textbooks or written down in history, our culture is written in the stars at night, on the grounds on which we walk and in the trees, plants and animals.

– William Wolf


What does NAIDOC Week mean to you?

Ben: I like celebrating my culture and it's an opportunity to inspire younger Indigenous kids and educate them about what it means to be Aboriginal.

Cooper: It's a week when we can celebrate the Indigenous culture and the Indigenous boys can unite.

Dallmyn: NAIDOC Week is a time to share our traditions, originating from hundreds of tribes across Australia. We get the opportunity to share and talk about our culture. We can teach non-Indigenous Australians about our culture.

Nic: NAIDOC Week is important to me because we can show our differences to non-Indigenous people and we can be proud of who we are.

Robert and Taka: We like NAIDOC Week because we get to practice art and show non-Indigenous people our dances.

TJ and Taigh: You get to teach non-Indigenous people about our culture.

It's a time to celebrate Indigenous peoples and what they've contributed to our society.

– Dallmyn Kelly

What do you think it means to be Indigenous?

William: I am proud to be a part of the world's oldest thriving culture. Our culture has been passed down by generations before me. It's not featured in textbooks or written down in history, our culture is written in the stars at night, on the grounds on which we walk and in the trees, plants and animals. My culture makes me proud of my ancient heritage. It makes me proud to hear stories of how my people overcame adversity and survived. Our culture governs us and gives us boundaries to not overstep. You can see this in the way that our kinship system is structured. Our laws and customs are a set of rules by which we must abide to live accordingly.

Jett: To me, being Indigenous means to have pride in my culture and my background. My elders and family before me have passed on knowledge that I wish to submit to the generations to come. I look up to my elders and the qualities they obtain and I wish to exhibit those qualities for the rest of my life. All indigenous people should be proud of their culture and heritage and pass it onto the next generation.

What does this year's theme 'Heal Country' mean to you?

Ben: Respect country, respect environment and respect your Elders.

Cooper: It's about people uniting. Making friends, reconnecting with old friends and being respectful to the environment.

Dallmyn: It means to talk about what's happened in the past and what we can and can't do to move forward together. It's a time for reconciliation and a time to celebrate Indigenous peoples and what they've contributed to our society.

Nic, Robert, Taka, TJ and Taigh: Healing country is about healing the people. We believe it's important to make our communities healthier by removing drinking and violence, which starts with our elders setting an example. We can too teach young ones about our culture and continue to learn more ourselves. Healing country is also about healing the environment, by looking after our surroundings and stopping littering.