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NAIDOC Week Assembly

assembly leaders
​Assembly Leaders Kiarah and Jessica
National Anthem: Ensemble
Acknowledgment of Country: Richard Hayden
Assembly Leaders: Kiarah Woodbridge and Jessica Milward
Jessica opened the Assembly: "This year’s NAIDOC theme is “Because of Her, We Can”. This year we acknowledge the women of our families and our culture and pay tribute to their accomplishments and contributions in building a brighter future for all Indigenous people. A huge thank you to our mothers, our grandmothers, aunty's, sisters and nieces who we all appreciate greatly and thank you for all the work you have done and constantly do."

Principal’s address – Because of Her, We Can

The theme of NAIDOC week this year is ‘Because of Her, We Can.’
As a country we have evolved and grown. Many individuals and organisations have played a part in this development.  Today I Ms Monagle spoke about one lady who has play an integral part: Faith Bandler a civil rights advocate, whose legacy was her gentle approach to achieving social justice and equality in Australia. 
Born to a South Sea Islander father and Indian-Scottish mother, Faith Bandler selflessly devoted much of her life to building organisations that worked for the rights of Indigenous Australians. At Faith’s funeral she was remembered as a person who
  • helped us all to be better people,
  • helped us to recognise that caring for others was fundamental to our reason for being on earth,
  • encouraged us to get on with it, and
  • encouraged us to work hard to improve the life of every single human, regardless of race or religion, gender or geography
Faith’s crowning achievement was her campaign for a Constitutional referendum, which led to the 1967 referendum and two amendments regarding the rights of Indigenous Australians in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia.
For many, many years Faith and many others marched, protested and campaigned for recognition of their rights and called for this national reform.  A reform that everyone benefits from today. NAIDOC week this year celebrates our mothers, grandmothers, our aunts, our sisters and our daughters.
May we always remember
the voice and achievements of Her;
the passion and strength of Her;
the way that has been paved for us by Her;
In closing, it is Because of Her we Can.

Guest Speaker: Mrs Raelene Ward

Kiarah introduced special guest speaker, Mrs Raelene Ward: "Mrs Ward is an Aboriginal and Senior Lecturer in the Nursing Program at USQ and has mentored and paved the way for many Indigenous people seeking a career in health. Mrs Ward is a highly respected community member and we are honoured to have her here today to share her story."
Mrs Ward spoke to the theme of NAIDOC  2018 – Because of her … we can, sharing an inspirational story about her grandmother, Hazel Hendren Wharton, born in the Great Depression to the Kooma tribe. Mrs Wharton lived in Yumba on the outskirts of Cunnamulla and went to work at age 11, was married at 16, a mother at 17 and a drover's wife for more than 20 years.
Mrs Ward spoke about her grandmother’s life and activities working to improve the lives of Aboriginal Australians including involvement
  • with the Cunnamulla Australian native welfare association (CANWA) 1960, established to address health education and housing issues for Aboriginal peoples of Cunnamulla;
  • with the Windorah community supporting the establishment of the Cooper Aboriginal Housing Company in 1974
  • in projects to hand mining land back to the Aboriginal people
  • undertaking research about Archibald Meston an aboriginal protector
  • as Regional Councillor for the Goolburri region and involvement in the purchase of  Warella Aboriginal Pastoral Company
  • with language groups and cultural heritage sites; recording oral history

Muru Birri Gururu

Assembly enjoyed dance performances from William Haupt and the Indigenous dancers.
Thank you and we hope you have enjoyed Harristown State High School’s 2018 NAIDOC Celebrations.