Today marks the start of National NAIDOC Week. These celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.
National Reconciliation Week is celebrated from 27th May - 3rd June each year. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.
Thanks to our local KESO team for sharing this great resource!
Harper Harradine and Tehya Clarke are '100 percent' proud to be part of Dimboola Memorial Secondary College history after winning school captaincy roles for 2022. The pair will be the college's first all Indigenous team with Tehya following in the footsteps of her brother Kynan the schools first Indigenous captain.
Harper said being elected to the role by the student body was 'a real honour' “There's been a lot of great school captains here previously, so it's a real honour to be at the same level right now,” he said.
Tehya said being elected was 'a dream come true'. She is planning to attend University in Melbourne after graduation and is still deciding on her field of study. Harper said he hoped to pursue a role with Parks Victoria.
Both Tehya & Harper awarded Marrung Education Scholarships at a ceremony in Melbourne early this year.
Congratulations to both Tehya & Harper all the best for the future!
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day is held on the 4th of August each year. The theme for Children's Day 2021 is:
The Children's Day 2021 theme highlights the importance of supporting strong family and community connections to help children achieve strong spiritual and cultural wellbeing and to form proud cultural identities.
Children's Day is a time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities and all Australians, celebrate the strengths and culture of our children. It is an opportunity to show support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.
Children's Day has been run annually since 1988 and is the initiative of SNAICC - National Voice for our Children.
NAIDOC Week is an annual event with a specific theme chosen to reflect issues and events that are important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee and its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups seeking to increase awareness of the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the 1920s.
In 2021 the theme for NAIDOC Week (4-11 July) is - Heal Country! a theme which calls for all Australians to continue to seek greater protection from exploitation and destruction of land, water, sacred sites and cultural heritage.
National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, culture and achievements and explore how each of us can contribute to achieving Reconciliation in Australia.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of National Reconciliation Week (NRW). In order to provide national leadership on reconciliation, the organisation Reconciliation Australia was formed and that same year, 300,000 people walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge to show support for Reconciliation. You can watch a video about 20 years of Reconciliation on YouTube at https://youtu.be/KNAkfPrsC9Q.
Reconciliation Australia promotes and facilitates respect, trust and positive relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year, NRW encourages all Australians towards braver and more impactful ACTION for reconciliation.
The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.
Members of our DMSC community are also invited to complete a short survey about how we all can TAKE ACTION to support Reconciliation. The results of this survey will be used to create a promotional poster for use at our school.
The survey only takes a moment to fill out. You can contribute at https://bit.ly/3vm0KD3
27th May 2021
Tuesday was the official 2021 Marrung Education Scholarship presentation ceremony at the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne. The Wimmera had two recipients this year and both were from DMSC - Tehya Clarke and Harper Harradine, who were presented with their framed scholarship certificates. The Marrung Education Scholarships program provides scholarships to support Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students to complete Years 11 and 12. The program offers 20 scholarships across Victoria and recognises students who demonstrate a high potential to succeed in their chosen pathway. Tehya hopes to become a Psychologist and Harper would like to be a teacher.
Pictured below, second photo: Aunty Vera Briggs (Secondary Specialist, Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc.), Uncle Lionel Bamblett (General Manager, VAEAI), Tehya Clarke, Harper Harradine, Steve Dimopolous (Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier).
Friday 12th March 2021
We would like to recognise and reflect on the anniversaries of two local events that hold particular significance for our Koorie community.
On the 13th December 2005, the Federal Court of Australia ruled in favour of Native Title claimants the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk Peoples of Western Victoria. This determination was particularly significant for the Jardwadjali and Wergaia peoples as it was the first successful native title claim in south-eastern Australia.
At a special sitting of the Federal Court at Horseshoe Bend, near Dimboola, Justice Ron Merkel said the success of the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagalk peoples' native title claims was testimony to their acknowledgement of traditional laws and observance of customs. He said the case was "a living example" that traditional laws were not fixed and unchanging. Rather, they evolved over time in response to changing social and economic needs to which all societies adapted.
On Thursday 5th December 2013, the National Trust handed over their freehold interests in the Ebenezer Mission, Antwerp to the Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation - Traditional Owners, Registered Aboriginal Party and Native Title Holders.
The Ebenezer Mission was first gazetted in 1861 as the “Lake Hindmarsh Aboriginal Reserve” and was later closed in 1904. From 1968 until 1991, the National Trust managed the whole site of 0.8Ha, assuming Committee of Management status for the Crown Land reserve and freehold ownership of the balance of the site. The Crown Land reservation was revoked in 1991 and the Crown allotment was sold as freehold land to Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-op Ltd., a health and welfare cooperative. In recent years, the Barengi Gadjin Land Council have managed the site on the behalf of Goolum Goolum and the National Trust.
Source: Koorie Perspectives in Curriculum Bulletin: December 2020, VAEAI.
NAIDOC 2020 will be celebrated next week and invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country - a history which dates back thousands of generations.
Always Was, Always Will Be. recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.
They are spiritually and culturally connected to this country.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia's first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.
Australia has the world's oldest oral stories. The First Peoples engraved the world's first maps, made the earliest paintings of ceremony and invented unique technologies. They built and engineered structures - structures on Earth - predating well-known sites such as the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge.
Their adaptation and intimate knowledge of Country enabled them to endure climate change, catastrophic droughts and rising sea levels.
Always Was, Always Will Be. acknowledges that hundreds of Nations and their cultures covered this continent. All were managing the land - the biggest estate on earth - to sustainably provide for their future. Through ingenious land management systems like fire stick farming we transformed the harshest habitable continent into a land of bounty.
NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges and celebrates that our nation's story didn't begin with documented European contact whether in 1770 or 1606 - with the arrival of the Dutch on the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula.
The very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations peoples. Their coastal Nations watched and interacted with at least 36 contacts made by Europeans prior to 1770. Many of them resulting in the charting of the northern, western and southern coastlines.
This nation's story began at the dawn of time.
Always Was, Always Will Be.
Year 10 student, Zarnia Klotz, is our most recent student to be selected to receive a scholarship from MADEC through their Indigenous Youth Leadership stream. The scholarship recognises the effort and achievement made so far through her education. It is designed to support Zarnia with her studies through to the end of Year 12.
Zarnia is the third DMSC student to be awarded this scholarship, joining Year 11 students, Kaitlyn Beeton and Niah Boundy, who are current recipients.
Congratulations Zarnia and keep up the great work!
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day is celebrated each year around the 4th August.
It is important that we at DMSC show our support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.
The theme for 2020 is "We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice".
Elders hold a significant role in the Aboriginal community. They are the holders of traditional knowledge and are often called up to provide reassurance, comfort and hope, especially in times of uncertainty.
Harper Harradine and Tehya Clarke represented DMSC at the Darwin Defenders Commemoration in Horsham on Wednesday February 19.
Both students were members of the official party and participated in the service. They also laid a wreath on behalf of the DMSC community.
Many of our Koorie students did exceptionally well at the DMSC Awards Night on December 17. They were prize winners in a wide range of areas: writing, art, citizenship, academic achievement, Year 12 Graduation, Year 9 Scholarship, contribution awards, attitude and effort awards and VET.
|Harper Harradine||Student Contribution Award
Middle-School Sportsman Award
|Tehya Clarke||Intermediate Citizenship Award
Student Contribution Award
|Zarnia Klotz||Year 9 Engagement - Dimboola Lions Club Scholarship
Jill Walsgott Instrumental Music Award
|Talulla Harradine-Hodge||Merit Award
Senior Excellence in Art Award
|Yasmin Harradine||Year 12 Graduate|
|Niah Boundy||Year 10 VETiS Award|
|Kaitlyn Beeton||The Sara Hunter Hospitality Encouragement Award|
|Simone Rayes||Merit Award|
|Cyan Morrison||Merit Award|
Yasmin Harradine with her "Finalist" certificate from the Keep Victoria Beautiful organisation. Yasmin was nominated for her "Welcome" mosaic and the winners of all categories will be announced on Saturday October 26, when Dimboola hosts the State Tidy Towns awards.
DMSC students Simone Rayes and Djarem Harradine attended a three-day camp held on res at FedUni Mt. Helen campus during the September holidays.
The program gave students a taste of University life and included many fun cultural activities, including an excursion to Lal Lal Falls. It was a great way for students to connect and form friendships with other Aboriginal students from across the Ballarat region.
Year 10 student Niah Boundy has spent this week on work experience at Dimboola Primary School.
- Friday 20th September 2019
This week, we unveiled a new banner which acknowledges the five Traditional Owner groups of the Wimmera Mallee area. The banner captures many images of our students and families and some of the events that we have celebrated. The artwork across the top and bottom of the banner is by DMSC student and proud Wotjobaluk woman, Yasmin Harradine. The original piece of artwork was recently displayed at the NAIDOC week exhibition in Horsham and has now been bought by Wimmera Health Care Group.
Click on an image below to enlarge.
Earlier this week (Monday 27th May), DMSC staff shared a casual Morning Tea for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and families. This was a great morning to enjoy a chat over a sausage roll and a cuppa! Once again, we had a good number of families attend to support their children. The Welcome to Country was given by Stuart Harradine (below left) and past student and DMSC Hall of Fame recipient, Tracey Rigney (below right), spoke to students about her time at DMSC and how her passion for storytelling had led to a career opportunity as a film and television writer. Thank you to both speakers and the families for joining us in supporting the students on their journey.
- Ms Belinda Frost, Thursday 30th May
Year 10 student, Niah Boundy, has been selected to receive a scholarship from MADEC through their Indigenous Youth Leadership stream. The scholarship is designed to support Niah with her studies through to the end of Year 12. Niah is the second DMSC student to be awarded this scholarship, joining fellow Year 10 student, Kaitlyn Beeton, who received one last year. Congratulations Niah.
- Monday 1st April 2019
Some of our Indigenous students enjoyed lunch with our Koorie Education Support Officers (KESOs), Nola Illin and Kerrie Clarke. It is great for our students to meet, or be reacquainted with Nola and Kerrie and for them to know that they are there to support the school and them with their education.
DMSC Year 9 student and proud Gunai and Monero woman, Tehya Clarke, is following in her older brother's footsteps and has been elected to the Youth Council for 2019. Along with Rebekah Albrecht, Teo Haines and Jordan Laverty, Tehya will represent the youth of Dimboola at council meetings.
Pictured L to R: Hindmarsh Shire Councillors Tony Schneider and Debra Nelson, Rebekah Albrecht, Tehya Clarke, Teo Haines and Jordan Laverty.
Last Friday, I accompanied four students to the South West Victorian Region, Marrung Forum, this year held in Horsham. Marrung is the term given to the Department of Education's Aboriginal Educational Plan which lays out the strategies and targets for the ten year period, 2016-2026.
I was very proud of our young students who spoke about how DMSC is an inclusive school and also a school that respects and celebrates our Indigenous students. Present at the forum were all of the Department staff who are leaders in our Region - it was an honour for our students to be invited.
- Anne Gawith, Principal
Pictured above, L to R: Djarem Harradine, Alex Jakiel, Tehya Clarke, Harper Harradine
Members of the Department of Education and Training, Koorie Workforce Team and others, attend a cultural tour of the Dimboola area. Pictured near the billabong on the Wimmera River. Local Wotjobaluk man and DMSC parent, Stuart Harradine, led the tour and he is pictured centre back.
Year 12 student, Tania Morrison, has graduated from her traineeship with Certificate II in Business Administration. Tania was part of the first intake of Koorie students to participate in this program with Victoria Police. Based at the Horsham Police Station, Tania has undertaken a wide variety of roles and has also completed the many modules that are part of the traineeship. Tania was well supported by Skillinvest, many officers from the Horsham Police and staff at DMSC. We congratulate Tania on this achievement and know that it will place her in good stead as she moves out of secondary schooling at the end of this year.
- Thursday 18th October 2018
Pictured below, left: Tania with representatives from the Horsham Police, Skillinvest and DMSC.
Pictured below, right: Tania Morrison with DET Koorie Education Support Officers, Kerrie Clarke and Nola Illin.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Koorie student Kynan Clarke was thrilled to become the first Indigenous School Captain of Dimboola Memorial Secondary College.
In October 2016, Year 11 student Kynan Clarke was asked to speak at the Department of Education and Training, Marrung Aboriginal Plan launch in Horsham. Kynan went on to be School Captain in 2017. Kynan's mother, Kerrie Clarke, also spoke at the forum.
DMSC Cultural Inclusion Officer
(03) 5389 1460
Koorie Engagement Support Officer (KESO)
Service Support Branch
South Western Victorian Region
Horsham Sub-Regional Office
(03) 5310 5300
0457 520 390
Koorie Engagement Support Officer (KESO)
Service Support Branch
Wimmera South West Area
Horsham Sub-Regional Office
(03) 5310 5329
0459 870 282