Painting a reminder of school’s values

St Joseph the Worker Catholic Primary School students have partnered with the Wandana Project to create an indigenous-inspired painting of their school’s story.

Children created the artwork with specialist Aboriginal educators, who ran a full-day program of events to teach students about indigenous tradition, history and performance leading up to the creation of the new painting.

The visit was timed to celebrate the feast of St Joseph the Worker, and the artwork’s design celebrated the school’s strong Catholic culture, including its founding in 1962 and the strong influence of the Sisters of Charity.

“Every member of our school community participated in the making of this artwork,” said Principal Gai Melville, “the circular shape in the centre of the painting, which is a traditional Aboriginal meeting place, represents the school.”

“The dark blue cross, a sign of our faith, can be seen through the centre of the painting along with the stars of the Southern Cross.”

“The many dotted areas in the remainder of the painting are the students, parents and staff of the school community taking their values of school, church and family out into the local community and globally.”

The day began with an acknowledgement of country and a reconciliation prayer, and school leaders in Years 5 and 6 had their faces painted with traditional ochre paint.

There was also a didgeridoo performance, a cultural talk and an interactive display of traditional tools and weapons.

Students were then given skin names and performed Yubba Bulla, the counting to five song, before beginning work on the painting.

The finished artwork will be displayed in the Fr Mark Spora room, where the school holds prayers and liturgies.

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