Camden Haven High School's Aboriginal Education program

Camden Haven High School's Indigenous leader Grace McDonald and Hamish Cook-Webber.
Camden Haven High School's Indigenous leader Grace McDonald and Hamish Cook-Webber.

Indigenous leaders at Camden Haven High School are working to raise awareness about Aboriginal culture within the school and the wider community.

Aboriginal Education team leader Shayne Vonbun said the school has been incorporating a number of activities and offering opportunities for young Aboriginal people.

He said a number of events have been instrumental in bringing together all those who identify as being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Shayne said it's important for the students to connect and establish cultural awareness for the entire school community.

Moving forward Shayne and the student Indigenous leaders want to engage with community organisations outside the school to get on board and help promote days of cultural significance.

There were community events in Wauchope and Port Macquarie to acknowledge Reconciliation Week. However there were no community events in the Camden Haven.

At the school's Reconciliation Week ceremony Year 10 Indigenous leader Grace McDonald said reconciliation involves building positive, respectful relationships between all Australians and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

"It helps to create a positive change and to help Australians learn about their shared histories, cultures and achievements," she said.

The event incorporated a sand ceremony to highlight the elements of the Aboriginal flag and its colours.

Camden Haven High School students also recently joined with elders and to combine their house names with the native language of the area, Kattang.

Hamish Cook-Webber and Grace McDonald are Indigenous leaders at the school and said it's positive the country is moving forward in many ways to address challenges faced by Aboriginal people.

Recently Ken Wyatt became the first Aboriginal person to become the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

Hamish said there's hope Minister Wyatt will address and act upon challenges such as health and education for Aboriginal people who live in rural and remote areas.

Shayne said it's important more is done to educate people on past atrocities.

He said a lot of people are quick to dismiss the violence on Aboriginal people as not being associated with them because it took place in the past.

"Saying sorry does not come from a place of guilt but it comes from a place of empathy, and it's a major part of moving forward," Shayne said.

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