Wiyanga and Kirinari share in a true Australian cultural experience!

Jarara’s Aboriginal Education assistant Josh Sly captivated his audience when the team visited Wiyanga and shared Australia’s Indigenous culture with both Wiyanga and Kirinari students

Wiyanga and Kirinari students were in for a treat when the Jarara Team paid them a visit and took them on an interactive journey all about Australia’s Indigenous culture.

Wiyanga and Kirinari are purpose-built facilities which offer students with High Support Needs an alternate platform for learning and inclusion. Wiyanga is based onsite at St Patrick’s Marist College Dundas, while Kirinari is based onsite at Xavier College Llandilo. These facilities are open to students from all over the Diocese who have a diagnosis of moderate intellectual disability and low adaptive functioning.

Jarara’s Aboriginal Education Assistant Josh Sly began the cultural experience with an Acknowledgement of Country which was followed by a demonstration of Indigenous tools and technology. He shared with the students the Coolamon story and described it as “the oldest shopping basket in the world”, much to the delight of his captivated audience.

He also described how Aboriginals would go about getting the things they needed to make their tools and said: “They couldn’t go to Bunnings to buy a saw or an axe, they had to make them from the things they had around them, like glue from tree sap, sand, trees and animals".

Josh even taught the students how to play the didgeridoo and allowed them to see how he made different sounds through the vibration of his lips. The students especially liked it when he made animal sounds like the dingo!

Then Jarara Student Services administration assistant Sam Forbes read the students the dreaming story The Echidna and The Shade Tree which was followed by a craft activity which saw everyone create their own echidnas using clay and toothpicks.

Staff and students enjoyed learning about the Coolamon story which was described as “the oldest shopping basket in the world”

“I think it is really important that the Wiyanga and Kirinari students get the same opportunity to take part in the events Jarara takes out to all our other schools in the Diocese. The students are very receptive to what we do as we incorporate music, visuals, storytelling and interactive craft and painting activities," Josh said.

Kirinari Director of Diverse Learning Needs Michelle Pittorino said this is a great opportunity for students to learn about our first Australians. “It helps them to have a greater understanding about what it means to be an Australian," Mrs Pittorino said.

“Giving students the chance to learn through play is extremely beneficial. Our students have been very excited about visiting Wiyanga and seeing their friends. It gives them a chance to also catch up with each other, while also learning in an interactive and engaging environment," she said.

Click here to view photos of the event