Students in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program spent their Advisor session today taking part in a smoking ceremony led by proud Dja Dja Wurrung woman and Koori Education Officer, Kerri Douglas.

Kerri used the ceremony as a way to set students on the next phase of their journey; both through the stress of exams and assessments, and stepping beyond school into the wider world.

She explained the three types of leaves used in a Dja Dja Wurrung smoking ceremony—the Cherry Ballart represents youth, strength and resilience, the gum is for the elders, wisdom and protection, while the wattle is a symbol of the traditional tools and artefacts.

“Smoking not only welcomes people to country, it’s also a cleansing,” Kerri explained, “getting rid of bad spirits, bad energy and creating good spirit on Country.”