Language speaks to Westdale children

WESTDALE Public school has found a hands-on way to learn about Aboriginal language. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY: Westdale class 2J celebrates their Aboriginal language and art display in the school hall, with teacher Kathie Jackson, Aboriginal education officer Julie Fuller and student teacher Stacey 
Cornish. Photo: Geoff O'Neill 110914GOC01

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY: Westdale class 2J celebrates their Aboriginal language and art display in the school hall, with teacher Kathie Jackson, Aboriginal education officer Julie Fuller and student teacher Stacey Cornish. Photo: Geoff O'Neill 110914GOC01

Student teacher from UNE Stacey Cornish co-ordinated class 2J to create two panels with an acknowledgement of country in both the Gamilaroi language and English to recognise the indigenous heritage of many Westdale students. 

The words are surrounded by children’s painted hand prints in the colours of the Aboriginal flag. 

“The hand prints are to symbolise everyone coming together,” Miss Cornish said. 

She said it would be a tragedy to grow up not learning about Australia’s rich cultural history.

“They don’t know as much as they should, so we want to revitalise it.”

She said the students would start learning some more of the language this week, but the artwork had helped to consolidate their knowledge and make them feel involved in the culture. 

Aboriginal education officer Julie Fuller was thrilled to have a piece of Aboriginal language on prominent display in the school hall. 

“It shows the awareness and respect children have for the first custodians of the land,” she said.