Black Tracks is a subject taught at the College focusing on Aboriginal perspectives – both traditional and contemporary issues. Students learn that Aboriginal culture is a living culture in both remote and urban communities. The major assessment task for the term is an exhibition, this year the exhibition was entitled ‘Struggle for Rights’. Each exhibit is a collection of a brief biographical report and research report, a 3 dimensional model and a short film of the edited interview.
People featured in this exhibition: Veronica Barnett, Pauline Fennell, Delsie Lillyst, Eleanor Bourke, Johnny Couzens, Travis and Adam Varcoe, Betty Pike, Kelsey Love, Sue Darby, Vicki Couzens, Chris Rafferty, Corrina O’Toole and Vicki Walker. In researching the ‘Struggle for Rights’ the students covered the following topics National Day of Mourning, The Cummeragunja Walk-Off, The 1967 Referendum, The Wave-Hill Walk-off, The Tent Embassy, Land Rights, The National Apology and the Close the Gap Campaign.
The exhibition opened on the same day as our Reconciliation Assembly so we were lucky enough to have many of the interviewees and guests from the Wathaurong Co-op to support us on this day.
Over the past seven years Clonard College has built a relationship with the remote community of Santa Teresa – approximately 100km from Alice Springs. This includes an annual trip for a small group of students from Clonard to Santa Teresa and a bi-annual trip for the students from Santa Teresa to visit Geelong and Clonard College. One of the testaments of this relationship is the position that Kelly Mayne has sec
ured in the community. She finished Year 12 at Clonard in 2007 and went to work there in 2008 as a tutor. She has now gone on to study her teaching degree whilst living and working in the community. We have also extended this cultural experience to involve the remote community of Daly River in the NT. We had our first trip to this community in May this year which was fantastic and we look forward to strengthening this relationship. Students undertake a 10 week training program in preparation for this trip so that they develop a solid understanding of the expectations we have of them and what life might be like in a remote community. When students return from this trip, they are also linked in with activities with the local Wathaurong community so that they can also develop an understanding of life for urban Aboriginal people.
This campaign has been strongly supported by members of our school community. On April 2nd this year, we celebrated the Close the Gap campaign by signing petitions, buying wristbands and t-shirts. We listened to music by Aboriginal artists. The day raised awareness and we all had lots of fun.