Domremy College Five dock students have painted their school’s story with the help of the Wandana Project.
The painting, Julngkul Warma, includes colours and designs symbolic of Domremy’s history, core values and community. It also tied in with the 2016 National Reconciliation Week theme ‘Our History, Our Story, Our Future’.
The project worked to bring together the wider Domremy community and increase the recognition and appreciation of the local Aboriginal connection to the land. It opened with a traditional smoking ceremony. Each student was given the chance to have their face painted with ochre sourced from Bondi and add their own mark to the painting.
“It has been a privilege to work with local indigenous tutors from Wandana Aboriginal Education and Events who led us in this project,” said Principal Vivienne Awad.
“They have helped us to create the true essence of the College in painting, while at the same time allowing our students to experience Aboriginal culture through art.”
Wandana tutors explained the cultural significance of Aboriginal artefacts including boomerangs and the significance of symbols that were part of the dot painting.
The centre of the artwork symbolises a point of communication between heaven and earth, as well as the tree of life and nourishment.
Green represents the College’s circular driveway and heritage gates that welcome visitors to the College community.
The oval shape in the shield represents patron Saint Joan of Arc, who carried a shield into battle, as well as representing protection of feminine power. The 12 U shapes around the oval represent the original 12 students of the College when it was founded in 1911.
Navy blue was used to reference the school’s original uniform and the qualities of truth, intellect, wisdom, loyalty and peace; gold to symbolise divine power and enlightenment; and red to represent love, joy, faith, power and dignity.
Students also drew on what they had learned from Wandana to create their own personal journey stones.
The finished painting hangs in the College’s Mary MacKillop building as a reminder of its rich history and traditions.