Students at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Enfield have explored Indigenous culture and language in song with help from special guest, Christine Anu.
Ms Anu visited during the first week of the school term in honour of NAIDOC Week, which fell during the school holidays from 7-14 July.
Maria Maiorana, Principal at St Joseph’s, said the visit was an important chance to honour the rich heritage, knowledge and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
All children need to know and value our indigenous cultures
“All children need to know and value the important role our indigenous cultures have played and continue to play in our country,” Ms Maiorana said.
“Everyone responds to music and celebration and I hope that this performance will remain in their memories and remind them of the importance of acknowledging our rich history.”
Ms Anu taught students to greet each other and introduce themselves in the Kala Lagaw Ya language of her mother’s homeland, and children sang ‘Heads and shoulders, knees and toes’ to learn the names of parts of the body.
During an extended time of song and dance, students learned the Indigenous Babook dance Pa Ama, provided percussion for Ms Anu’s song Party and joined with her to perform her hit My Island Home.
Children said they enjoyed learning about the many islands and cultures found in the Torres Strait, and particularly liked speaking in language and experiencing traditional musical instruments.
“I liked how she taught us her own dance moves from her country,” said Year 4 student Khayden Carr-Border, who also led the school in an Acknowledgement of Country.
“It’s good to celebrate the rich culture and history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, because this is their land and their country,” said Year 6 student Lauren Goldsmith.