St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Sarina has earned a coveted Gold Award at the Mackay Regional Council Heritage Awards held recently.
The Award recognised the work undertaken to develop a deeper, respectful understanding of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and to strengthen relationships with Yuwi Custodians.
St Anne’s Principal John Ballinger-Oches said the whole school community was delighted to have been named this year’s Cultural Heritage Champion Gold Award Recipient.
Mr Ballinger-Oches said the school had recently installed a series of giant, coloured pencils featuring welcome and farewell messages in traditional Yuwi language and English translation lining the pathway at the front entrance to the school.
“This body of work reflects our commitment to acknowledging the Yuwi Custodians and their history,” Mr Ballinger-Oches said.
Mr Ballinger Oches praised the efforts of Regional Indigenous Education Liaison Officer, Karlie Tatchell for her commitment and dedication to advancing better understanding and deeper respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
“Karlie has helped to create ongoing connections with our Yuwi Custodians facilitating regular visits and helping build connections with classes and as well as individual students,” Mr Ballinger-Oches said.
“Our whole community benefits through greater knowledge of the deep spiritual connections and rich traditions that are part of the Yuwi culture enabling us, as a school community, to continue to make positive contributions to our own story.”
Mr Ballinger-Oches said funds received as part of the Heritage Award would be put towards the construction of a Yarning Circle currently being developed.