Ardmona Primary School celebrates NAIDOC Week

By James Bennett

NAIDOC Week celebrations have kicked off early for Ardmona Primary School students, with the school participating in a daily activity this week.

With the official week not starting until July 7 — during school holidays — Ardmona Primary decided to celebrate the occasion early by exploring local culture.

Yesterday, the small school received a visit from Kaiela Arts representatives, who taught the students about symbolism within indigenous art.

On Monday, the students participated in storytelling and other art activities.

Indigenous education support officer Nathan Turner said the students had engaged well with the celebrations.

‘‘We thought if we host NAIDOC Week a couple of weeks early the kids could learn more about it,’’ Mr Turner said.

‘‘They’re getting engaged in the activities of painting and symbol learning.

‘‘We’re doing an excursion to Melbourne later this week at the National Gallery of Victoria as well as local places like the Bangerang Cultural Centre and Flats Walk.

‘‘For me, I didn’t learn much about my culture growing up being indigenous as well; so with half of the school indigenous, starting early is important for them.

‘‘This is our first year doing NAIDOC celebrations.’’

NAIDOC Week is an annual event designed to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.