‘Dimboola Memorial Secondary College would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the Wimmera Mallee area: the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagalk peoples, and pay our respects to elders past, present and future.’
Last week, I was part of the Global Indigenous Runway project in Melbourne. There were South Pacific Islanders, Aboriginals and Maori people who were a part of the program as well. I met heaps of new people and gained new friends. The experience as a whole was intense and included a lot of blood, sweat and tears. There were 6000 people who applied and only 38 got accepted. I would definitely do it again if I get the chance.
- Tehya Clarke, 4th Septemeber 2018
"Inspire Me" Workshop
On Tuesday 28th August, a small group of our Aboriginal girls attended the "Inspire Me" workshop at Fed Uni in Horsham. This was an amazing opportunity for these girls to hear from three inspirational, Aboriginal women. The focus of the day was encouraging the girls to continue their studies and realise their full potential.
Mikaela Jade was the first keynote speaker. This strong aboriginal woman did not like school and admitted that she did not do very well in her Year 12 results. After some soul searching, she went back to school to re-do her Year 12. Mikaela always knew that she wanted to be working out on country, and after studying Environmental Biology, she began her career as a Park Ranger. From here, Mikaela built a technology company called Indigital that designs and delivers new technologies to Indigenous peoples, and created a storytelling app, using drones, 4D mapping software, image recognition and cultural law to bring Indigenous sites and stories to life.
Following Mikaela was her sister, Cassandra Rowe. Cassandra also felt that school was not for her. After deciding at a very young age that she wanted to work with monkeys, Cassandra refused to allow others to tell her she would not be able to follow her dreams. In a career spanning 20 years, Mikaela has worked as a vet nurse, zookeeper, volunteer in animal rescue centers, documentary maker, trainer and assessor, and primate consultant to zoos, wildlife preserves and private owners.
The final speaker for the day was Olympic runner and Australian icon, Cathy Freeman. Cathy spoke about her mentors and the commitment and dedication she required to win Olympic gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Since retiring from professional athletics, Cathy has co-founded the Cathy Freeman Foundation, assisting Aboriginal children achieve success in school and beyond. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee and mentors upcoming athletes.
Cathy’s most memorable moment in her career, was not at the Sydney Olympics, but three years earlier, when she almost quit. She was tired of the hard work, tired of people telling her what to do, tired of the pressure of expectation and feeling heartbroken after a recent break up. After some personal reflection, and turning to her mentor for advice, Cathy made the decision to recommit and the rest is history. A key message from Cathy was for the girls to be thankful to all the "pushy and nagging teachers", as it is often these teachers who see the best in them, and want them to achieve their potential.
What our students thought...
"All of the stories were very emotional, personal and inspiring" – Tallula
"What I took out of today was you can make great success with hard work" – Niah
"Fun Fact: People chainsaw giraffes when they die inside a building, in order to remove their bodies" – Yasmin
"My favourite part of the day was being introduced to Cathy, Mikaela and Cassandra and hearing their life stories" – Kaitlyn
"My highlight of the day was listening to the inspiring stories, spoken with such courage in front of us girls" – Zarnia
"'The comfort zone is a beautiful thing, but nothing grows there'. An inspiring quote from Mikaela Jade" – Cyan
Last week, Kaitlyn Beeton was nominated for an Indigenous Youth Leadership Scholarship. The criteria for the award centred around excellent attendance, great work ethic at school, good academic results and importantly, a desire to complete Year 12. Kaitlyn had to write a written application and attend an interview with a representative from MADEC – the Mildura based organisation who administer the scholarship. We were delighted to hear that Kaitlyn was successful and she will now receive some assistance to support her studies at school.
15th August 2018
NAIDOC Week Celebrations 2018
On Friday July 20, DMSC held our NAIDOC celebrations for 2018. With over 250 in attendance, it was a wonderful event which included a Welcome to Country from Aunty Nancy Harrison, some local history from Stuart Harradine, a traditional Smoking Ceremony conducted by Stuart and Damien Skurrie and culminating in the official unveiling of a wonderful "Welcome" mosaic, created by Year 11 student, Yasmin Harradine. It was an occasion that strengthened the ties between DMSC and the local Indigenous community, but as Yasmin herself pointed out, her message of welcome – also presented on the mosaic in the traditional Wergaia language, was meant as a general welcome to all. Regardless of race, culture, religion, identity – all are welcome at DMSC.
Many of our Indigenous families attended and students and staff from both St Peter’s Lutheran School and the Dimboola Primary School joined us for the occasion. It was also great to see three police officers from the Horsham Police Station here to support our NAIDOC event, and also to support, Year 12 student, Tania Morrison, who is one of the first participants in the Victoria Police Indigenous Traineeship program.
Yasmin spoke of the positive influences she has had in her life and related these women to this year’s NAIDOC theme, "Because of her we can". Yasmin has provided a strong symbol of inclusion for our school, and it will be a wonderful legacy into the future.
The celebrations concluded with all attendees given a lemon myrtle cupcake – prepared by the VCAL class and the cupcakes had either an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island flag on top.
Reconciliation Week Celebrations 2018
DMSC hosted a gathering of the students and families of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Cultural Inclusion Coordinator, Ms Belinda Frost, oversaw the arrangements and it was a lovely, casual event, enjoyed by staff, students and family members. Grandmother to four of our Indigenous students, Leila Harradine, said she thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed feel of the morning tea and how it was wonderful to be welcomed into the school. Another DMSC grandmother, Helen Sultan, performed the Welcome to Country and she spoke from the heart about how one of DMSC’s values, Freedom, was very fitting as it signified all Indigenous students’ rights to connect to their culture at school.
National Reconciliation Week 2018 was acknowledged from Sunday 27th May to Sunday 3rd June.
Baldau Yiooghen - Leadership Camp
Three DMSC students, Tristan Rayes, Niah Boundy and Kaitlyn Beeton, were successful in applying for a place in the Baldau Yiooghen Leadership group. The first stage of the camp was held in Melbourne during Reconciliation Week, from May 29 until June 3 2018. During the length of the camp, the students had the privilege to visit some iconic places in Melbourne, and those that hold integrity within today's Aboriginal culture. They visited the: Essendon Football Club, Flemington Racecourse Stables, Australian National Academy of Music, AAMI Park, Tennis Australia Headquarters, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Richmond Boxing Club and Federation Square. The three students joined many others at the Long Walk Conference held at the Crown Palladium. Also in attendance were notable figures, Uncle Darby McCarthy, Uncle Ian Goolagong and Aunty Pamela Pedersen. The students all participated in the "Walk to the G" to celebrate the AFL’s Indigenous Round.
The second part of this program will be a trip to Darwin later in the year.
Story by Tristan Rayes
Cultural Understanding and Safety Training
All staff at DMSC undertook Cultural Understanding and Safety Training (CUST) in May 2018. The workshop covered a wide range of topics, including the difference between a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of Country, information on the area’s history, support around embedding Indigenous content into the curriculum and where schools can go to for support. The sessions were presented by members of the Dept of Education and Training’s Koorie Workforce team, local Elders and Aboriginal workers from other organisations. The feedback from the training was overwhelmingly positive.
BACK: Daryl Rose, Steve Young, Suzanne Camm, Kelly Sailor-Muir, Stuart Harradine, Dean Staples
FRONT: Ros Pevitt, Tracey Rigney, Kerrie Clarke, Suzy Skurrie, Nola Illin, Anne Gawith (Principal DMSC).
Tristan Rayes – DMSC School Captain – 2018
For the second year in a row, DMSC students have elected an Indigenous School Captain. Year 12 student Tristan Rayes was thrilled to follow in the footsteps of 2017 School Captain, Kynan Clarke, and has continued the great work of being a wonderful role model to all students, but particularly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Tristan is pictured with joint School Captain, Danni Haebich.
In 2018, Tristan received the inaugural ACKLAND Award, given to an Indigenous student in the Wimmera area who has demonstrated: Achievement, Commitment, Knowledge, Leadership, Nyerna ‘to hear, to listen’ and Dedication.
Tristan is pictured with family members.
Tristan pictured speaking at the Wimmera South West Principals’ Forum in March 2018.
Victoria Police Traineeship
In 2017, DMSC student, Tania Morrison, became one of the first Indigenous students in Victoria to commence a school-based traineeship in Business Administration with the Victoria police. Signing on at the Horsham Police Station, Tania was thrilled to receive this opportunity having long held the dream of joining the police force.
Tania speaks about why she wants to join the police force in the video below.
Tania is pictured with Victoria Police members from the Horsham station.
Bakang Dyakata - Wotjobaluk Culture Event
A group of our Aboriginal students were given the opportunity to take part in a local cultural event, being held at Horseshoe Bend. Barengi Gadjin Land Council, Wimmera CMA, Goolum Goolum, Parks Victoria and the National Landcare Program had organised a community gathering to celebrate Wotjobaluk culture through the strengthening and showcasing of cultural practices. This was in order to (re)connect communities and exchange cultural ideas for the enjoyment and benefit of Traditional Owners and their future generations. Our students learnt about traditional cooking practices by assisting to make "clay balls" for the Earth Oven recreation. Parks Victoria ranger and local Traditional Owner, Damien Skurrie, spoke with the students about their history and encouraged them to engage in activities such as this, to ensure that their culture is not lost. The students had a great time being out on country and getting their hands dirty!
Friday 20th October 2017
Aboriginal Flag Bollards
In 2017, School Captain, Kynan Clarke, painted some bollards around a central garden bed in the colours and design of the Aboriginal Flag. The garden was totally refurbished as part of a VCAL project.
DMSC appoints first Indigenous School Captain - 2017
Koorie student Kynan Clarke was thrilled to become the first Indigenous School Captain of Dimboola Memorial Secondary College.
Kynan Clarke pictured with joint School Captain, Remi Kuhne.
Kynan was elected as a Hindmarsh Shire Youth Councillor in 2017. He is pictured with his mother, Kerrie Clarke.
Kynan Clarke speaking at the Darwin Defenders commemoration in Horsham in 2017.