BCE joins NAIDOC family day


Badge making was very popular with families at BCE’s NAIDOC Family Day marquee

BRISBANE Catholic Education’s information marquee proved popular with visitors to Musgrave Park’s annual NAIDOC Family Day.

The NAIDOC in the Park family day featured a variety of organisations coming together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The event showcased numerous aspects of First Nations cultures and heritage through performing arts, traditional foods, arts and crafts.

As well as opportunities to chat with BCE employees about current employment, scholarship and school enrolment opportunities, visitors to the BCE Marquee had the chance to take part in family friendly activities such as badge making, storytelling and weaving organised by staff from Ngutana-Lui, BCE’s indigenous cultural centre at Inala.

Grace Debono, a student at Carmel College, Thornlands, popped into the BCE marquee with her family to say hello and try her hand at weaving with Ngutana-Lui cultural tutor Brian Whap.

She said it was great to see BCE have a presence at the family day.

“It’s a very exciting day and I was glad to see the BCE marquee here,” she said.

Grace said she felt very lucky to attend a Catholic school and loved the friendly nature of her school.

“They have always been very supportive of me and my family and our indigenous culture,” she said.”

Rose Dwyer, a teacher at St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights, who came to the NAIDOC Family Day to expose her children to Aboriginal culture, said she too was excited to see the BCE marquee.

“It was absolute wonderful to see a BCE presence here, such a great surprise and discovery,” she said.

“To see BCE so visible and for everyone to walk through and being able to witness all the great things we do in our schools to celebrate our Indigenous culture.

“What a fantastic way to expose Indigenous peoples to BCE but also to expose BCE staff to Indigenous cultures.

Rose said to see staff from Ngutana-Lui being part of the family day was also fantastic.

“We (St Augustine’s) love going to see them over in Inala so to see them here so that other people can see this wonderful service that they offer is awesome,” she said.

NAIDOC Week, which ran from July 7 to July 14, was a great way to celebrate indigenous culture and build bridges between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

The national theme for 2019: “Voice. Treaty. Truth. let’s work together for a shared future” invited non-Indigenous people to walk with Indigenous peoples in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

Voice. Treaty. Truth. were three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart which came out of the National Constitutional Convention in 2017.

The reforms represented the unified position of First Nations Australians.

BCE Marquee organiser Hannah Curran Stall said she was surprised but delighted with the response from visitors to the BCE information marquee.

“It was a great opportunity to celebrate the amazing cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and allowed BCE to be part of a wonderful community,” Hannah said.

“The many visitors to our stall enquired about scholarships, employment and signing up their kids for a Catholic education.

“We also had great support from our Executive Director Pam Betts and our leadership team, who dropped in to encourage and show support to all the staff who volunteered to work at the stall,” she said.

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