“During National Reconciliation Week our diverse community comes together to acknowledge the histories, cultures and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples,” Principal Damien Sullivan says.
“We are committed to walking the journey of reconciliation and do this in tangible ways.”
This year, CTK School’s Year 1 Blue students led the Assembly in recognition of National Sorry Day on Friday, 26 May. While on Friday, 2 June, our Year 1 Red students led the School's National Recognition Week Assembly.
“We have also been fortunate to have Western Gugu Yalanji Jaradama Jalbu and Woppaburra Konomi woman – and CTK School parent – Dr Ruth Link join our teachers to share insights into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and law, and how we can support students and their families,” Mr Sullivan says.
Ms Link is also a Butchella Woman from Fraser Island and a Torres Strait woman from Moa Island. She is the Chairperson of the Mitchell River Traditional Custodian Advisory Group and Secretary of Jarradama Warra Western Yalanji Corporation working with her clan to return to Country and have a strong presence across north, south, east and west boundaries.
Christ the King School has a long commitment to indigenous culture and the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
In July 1983, Christ the King School began an enrolment drive for indigenous students. With no strategy to follow, the school broke new, and emotive, ground.
By the early 1990s, more than 120 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children had studied at Christ the King School. Many of the children spent up to three hours a day travelling to and from school, passing up to 20 primary schools along the way.
Then-principal Mr Dick Aylward said it was a sign of parental support for the program.
In an article published in The Catholic Leader in July 1993, it was highlighted that Aboriginal students attending the school were able to share Dreaming stories, overcoming literary biases of Anglo-Saxon texts of the day.
Teacher aides and liaison officers were employed to bridge the gaps and provide support, which included linking into family networks and making home school liaison visits.
Christ the King School continues to work proactively work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families today.
The School’s long commitment to indigenous culture continued through the ‘90s. Today, Christ the King School students recognise and celebrate NAIDOC Week, National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week with special assemblies and activities.
“Christ the King School is proud to have an amazing school with an inclusive, diverse and respectful community of learners,” Mr Sullivan says.