Inaugural Indigenous Cultural Awareness training for parents and volunteers

5 July, 2018


We can never underestimate the importance and strength of being connected. Do ‘connected’ right and great things happen. Gawura and St Andrew’s have always focussed on making the most of our excellent network and connections with individuals, families and community both inside and outside the schools.

Great initiatives and partnerships come from not only connecting but thinking outside the square when doing so.

Gawura has recently formed a great partnership with Lend Lease Property. One of our SACS dads, Michael, works at Lend Lease. After participating in a great Indigenous Cultural Awareness training day run by Lend Lease, opening his eyes to the magnificence of Indigenous culture, Michael wanted to know how he could engage his team to help Gawura – a school inside St Andrew’s Cathedral school which his own daughter attends. The usual volunteer day of painting buildings or building vegie gardens wasn’t an option and our morning reading program was already bursting at the seams. We had to think outside the square and come up with creative ways of engaging the talented, motivated staff of Lend Lease – connecting them with Gawura. What better way to tap into the minds of creative thinkers than to bring them into school, get them to read with the students, then put them to work brainstorming ways in which we can strengthen the Gawura program with their help. The ideas that flowed were endless and out of it came some fabulous initiatives. One exciting initiative to come out of the day was Lend Lease funded Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training for our parents, carers, students and volunteers:

As a school in the throes of implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan across both St Andrew’s and Gawura, we wanted to be able to give our extended school community access to Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training. The school provides PD sessions for our staff and our teachers provide cultural education for our students but what about our parent Group and volunteers? We had a need, Lend lease had the connection with Mirri Mirr and voila – we had a solution! Our first inaugural training session for SACS and Gawura parents and carers was held in Term 2. We learned a lot from the session and learned how to improve the focus for next time. We hope to hold another session later in the year.

This is what the community had to say about the afternoon:

I would love all the kids of SACS to be exposed to these forums. The guys who ran it were so witty and warm, and imparted a lot of information in a very easy to digest way. I would recommend this session to other schools and my colleagues because I was so impressed.

 I would like to recommend it to my work colleagues and see if they do a more adult focussed session such as they undertook at Lendlease

 It is such a rich culture which needs to be understood and is so important to keep.

 Connections are rich! Connections are important. Connections are what makes the world go round!

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