An Intermediate VCAL PDWRS class honoured members of the local Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community (ATSIC) this morning at a special morning tea in the BSSC Language Centre.
Students, staff and special guests, including Elders, KESOs and workers from a range of community organisations, gathered around a fire pit beside the Culture Garden to acknowledge the great work done by the local ATSIC community to support and encourage BSSC students and give their time so generously.
In a very moving and heartfelt way, students each introduced and thanked their special guest individually including Uncle Paul Chapman who teaches our young men the didgeridoo, Aunty Rhonda Penney from CVGT who is a huge support for our Indigenous school-based apprenticeship (SBAT) trainees, Arkeria and Miv from Weenthunga Health Network for supporting our young women, Aunty Janet Bromley who helped develop the Culture Garden and has worked on so many art projects with students, our wonderful Koori Education Support Officers, Kerri Douglas and Simon Briggs, Aunty Gabby Gamble who supports students undertaking SBAT, and BSSC Alumna Michellie Charvat and her mother Sam Chavat who is a broker for Aboriginal organisations and works to make pathways accessible for all Aboriginal students.
It was Michellie’s dream to create the Culture Garden at BSSC and she spoke about her artwork that is the centrepiece of the area. Michellie was also instrumental in the development of the Scholars Hut, a safe place for students to study and feel safe.
A huge thank you to everyone who attended today’s very meaningful occasion and to the VCAL students who produced a stunning morning tea and put so much work into the event.