We are committed to valuing and acknowledging the cultural identity of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at Cronulla High School. We encourage our Aboriginal students to embrace their heritage and provide them with unique leadership opportunities both through internal support networks and external excursions and programs.
We also welcome Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family members, parents and community members to our school through incursions and in developing each students’ Personal Learning Plan, so that we can effectively support our students, learn about the local Aboriginal community and develop shared goals.
CHS values the contribution that our Indigenous students make to our school. Under the guidance of the Head Teacher Secondary Studies Ms Paris Stasos and the ATSI team, the students are mentored in several ways:
‘Yarn Up’ roll call is held every Wednesday A week, where opportunities and information are provided to our Aboriginal students; which will help them reach their full potential and explore the rich tapestry of their culture.
Interviews are conducted with individual students, their parents and Ms Stasos, to develop PLP's (Personal Learning Plans) at the beginning of Term 1 each year.
‘ATSI Heritage Day’ is an incursion organised at Cronulla High School, which provides our students with the opportunity to make connections with their culture, history and members of the Aboriginal community.
The students participate in external workshops and camps which strengthen their leadership skills and offer them potential career opportunities.
The group develops leadership skills through acknowledging days of national significance with the school population, including Apology Day, National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Day.
We look forward to hearing about the great things our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students will achieve in the future.
Sydney Zoo Excursion NAIDOC Week 2021
Several of our Indigenous students attended Sydney Zoo with a friend to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2021. They participated in a workshop led by Indigenous zookeepers, where they learnt about many aspects of Aboriginal culture, including discussing men's and women's business, how the land is utilised for resources and how Indigenous land use and culture has changed over time and across the different nations in Australia. The students reflected by highlighting how important it is for all Australians to be educated about the history and culture of the First Nations' people.
National Reconciliation Week 2021
During morning assembly, Josh, Zoe, Keira and Olivia from 7C delivered a speech about the importance of celebration National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.
"Over the course of about 60 years, young Aboriginal children were taken away from their parents and families and sent to live with white families as a result. This was only one of the many atrocities and misjudgements our government and the citizens of Australia made. We, as a nation, have to recognise that, even though we didn’t necessarily make those mistakes, it is our responsibility to help reconcile with the Indigenous community. And that is why we have Reconciliation Week. So that we can as a community and as a nation try to make up for those wrongs.
This year, the theme for Reconciliation Week was More Than A Word - Reconciliation Takes Action. In class, all year 7 and 8 students created posters to promote Reconciliation Week. We will be displaying some of these posters around the school so that you can see what Reconciliation Week means and how the First Nations people have been affected by the past actions of the Australian government. We wanted to show that our actions affect people and that we can always try to right our wrongs and make a difference. That is why we used illustrations and messages to get our point of view across that sorry isn’t enough, and we need action.
As well as reconciliation week, NAIDOC Week is also about acknowledging the past and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and success. As we said before, the theme for reconciliation week this year is More Than A Word, which is similar to this year’s theme for NAIDOC week, Heal Country. Both of these themes have similar meaning, which is about standing up for the rights of First Nations people."
The winners of the Reconciliation Week poster were chosen by Yarn Up roll call and are: Nadia Yassine, Sophie Sapsed, Byron Saunders, Cooper De Ruyter, Sienna Morrison, Charlotte Bowen Wiseman, Penelope Foote and Freya Elkington. Congratulations to our winners and thank you to Josh, Zoe, Keira and Olivia for writing and delivering an outstanding speech.
Deadly Kids Choice Award 2021
Congratulations to Camryn Page of Year 11 for receiving the 2021 Deadly Kids Choice Award! Camryn has demonstrated diligence and improvement in her schoolwork, attends school regularly and is a positive role model for our other Aboriginal students at Cronulla High School. Only one student per school is nominated for this prestigious award each year, making this an exceptional achievement.
Aboriginal Elder Aunty Deanna Schreiber visited Cronulla High School to assist our students in their creation of a contemporary Aboriginal artwork. This student creation respects the traditional owners of this land, the Gweagal People of the Dharawal Nation. It represents the saltwater people and their culture, and incorporates flora, fauna and campsites found within the Sutherland Shire. Our students had a wonderful time learning more about Dharawal culture and identity and engaging with Aunty Deanna.
National Reconciliation Week 2020
To recognise National Reconciliation Week, CHS encouraged Year 7 and 8 students to participate in a creative activity over the course of the week during the learning from home period. Students were encouraged to create a poster, artwork, song, poem, short story, article, video OR diary entry representing the importance of recognising National Reconciliation Week and National Sorry Day in their school community each year. All submissions were awarded with a blue merit and the best submissions have been placed around the school to encourage conversation, educate and learn from our student voice. The overall purpose of this activity was to help raise awareness of NRW and Aboriginal history and culture around the school community.
Congratulations to Nadia Yassine, Duke Garnsey and Rose Richardson for their exceptional submissions. These three students have demonstrated exceptional empathy, critical thinking and understanding through this task and we are very proud of their efforts.
NAIDOC Week 2020
Year 7 engaged in a number of activities to celebrate the NAIDOC Week 2020 theme 'Always Was, Always Will Be'. This theme recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 60,000 years. It's about seeing, experiencing and learning the First Nations' deep rooted culture and history. Today Year 7 participated in traditional Indigenous games to experience Aboriginal culture first hand. In the afternoon, our 240 Year 7 students formed a human timeline to represent 60,000 years of Australian History; with each student in the line representing 250 years of history. This activity helped provide our students with a broader and more tangible understanding of the depth of First Nations History.
Every Monday, as the Australian National Anthem is played, Cronulla High School faces the flags to watch and admire the Australian National Flag, the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag being raised in unison. Our Year 12 cohort of 2019 recognised the importance of flying all 3 flags and as a result decided to make their gift to the school a new flag pole. Thank you to Year 12 for their thoughtful, departing gift to the school.
Cassandra Calvert and Max Johnston of Year 7 proudly introduced Mr Bruce Howell, a well-respected member of the Aboriginal and Cronulla High School community, to the stage, to speak to our students on the significance of flying all 3 flags at Cronulla High School. “This is a gift that will live on for many decades to come, and it’s a gift that tells a story – the story is about acknowledgement.” The words of Mr Howell enlightened Cronulla High students on the symbolism of the flags being displayed at our school. “The Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Islander flag, at the base of the triangle, represent the foundation of our country; what already existed prior to the arrival of the various European groups, and continues to exist. The Australian National Flag represents the nation that we have today, a mixture of people from all over the world, but still with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as its foundation.” Thank you Mr Howell for taking the time to share your understanding on the power of acknowledgement
ATSI SHOW Camp
On Tuesday 28th - Wednesday 29th of May 2019, 14 of Cronulla High School’s ATSI students from Year 7-12, attended an Aboriginal SHOW camp hosted by the AECG, held at YMCA camp Yarramundi. The camp was a rewarding and enjoyable experience with a range of activities based around sport, heath, confidence, opportunities and well-being. Students conducted mock interviews with one of Sydney Thunders Indigenous players, learnt about health and Indigenous art with Rheanna Lotter, and participated in Sydney Thunders cricket gala day. Our students made valuable connections with the 100 participating students from schools around NSW and look forward to participating in future AECG camps.