Today marks the beginning of National Reconciliation Week, which runs 27 May to 3 June each year.
These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the Reconciliation journey - the 1967 Referendum, and the High Court decision in Mabo.
Reconciliation Week is a time for us to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to reconciliation in our workplaces, schools and communities.
Significantly, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Bridge Walk for Reconciliation, when people came together to walk across the nation to show support for a more reconciled Australia.
This year’s theme, In This Together, is now resonating in ways which could not have been foreseen when it was announced last year. It reminds us whether we are in crisis or in reconciliation, we are all in this together.
Identified as a priority is our commitment to develop and use knowledge of Aboriginal histories and experiences, cultures and languages, and family relationships to positively impact student wellbeing and achievement; and to develop respect for and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their histories, cultures and languages.
Critical to this is increasing the capacity of our schools to work with Aboriginal families and communities that reflect a genuine partnership and appreciation of the strengths of Aboriginal students and communities. It is important that the educational opportunities we provide match the aspirations of families and communities. The recent video release, Building on Strength in Uncertain Times, models the importance of relationships and connection, especially at this time, and highlights the resiliency of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the oldest continuous cultures in human history.
On this journey, we are all in this together and every one of us has a role to play when it comes to reconciliation. In playing our part, we can collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures.
Dianella Secondary College
Our journey towards reconciliation is long and must be grounded in truth. Therefore, today at Dianella Secondary College we acknowledge National Sorry Day.
National Sorry Day 26th May, is an important historical event, where we remember the past policies of forced child removal. Here, we remember and reflect on the sad and painful history of the Stolen Generations, whilst recognising moments of resilience, healing and the power of saying Sorry.
As Evelyn Scott, Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation said on the 27th May, 2000, “In true reconciliation, through the remembering, the grieving and the healing we can come to terms with our conscience and become as one in the dreaming of this land.”
Sorry Day is held on the 26 May, since 1998, The first National Sorry Day took place a year after the tabling of "The Bringing Them Home Report" in Parliament. Having a day of commemoration was one of the recommendations within the report. It is particularly significant for those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were forcibly removed from their families, communities and cultural identity to assimilate. These past government policies of forced removal remained in place until the early 1970s. The children, who were taken from their families, are known as the Stolen Generation.
Sorry Day provides the opportunity for our students to make connections between their classroom learning about the histories, knowledge and experiences of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the commemorations they will see in their communities.
Dianella Secondary College
I want to thank you all for your support in what was one of the most unusual starts to a school term we have ever seen. Together, we have been able to make the best of this situation and ensure your child’s safety and continuity of learning.
Today, the State Government announced changes to education based on a review of current arrangements and updated health advice.
As of Monday, 18 May 2020 all students are expected to attend school, except for those students medically referred to learn from home.
This means students are either:
Over the last three weeks we have seen 84% of our students return to school, which has been fantastic.
Current health advice states that schools remain safe for staff and students and should remain open. We want to make sure all children get the best education possible, which is why attending school is so important. We are here to make sure all children are learning and there’s no doubt, schools are the best place for them to learn.
For parents with medical advice that their child should not attend school, we will work with you in partnership with the School of Special Educational Needs: Medical and Mental Health to support your child’s learning from home. If you feel your child is in this category, please do not hesitate to contact me and we will work together on next steps.
If your child does not attend school without a medical reason, they will be marked as absent and will not be provided a learning program.
The extra cleaning and hygiene practices implemented at the start of Term 2 will continue and as part of the social distancing measures, we continue to ask parents/carers to drop children at the school gate and not enter the school grounds.
The State Government will continue to make decisions based on the best health advice. Thank you for your continued support as we move forward.
If you have any questions, please contact us on 9345 9200.
Dianella Secondary College
Dear Parents and caregivers,
I am writing to advise that our school has been invited to participate in research the WA Government is undertaking in partnership with Telethon Kids Institute. The research is part of DETECT: a larger study of particular groups in our community to determine the prevalence of COVID–19 in Western Australia. Education has been prioritised for inclusion.
Approximately 80 public schools across Western Australia will participate in the research. They represent a cross section of the community and include primary, secondary, education support, metropolitan and regional schools, and residential colleges.
The study will be rolled out across schools over the next few weeks. Participation is voluntary and consent will be sought from staff and parents, as well as students for the psychosocial survey component.
As part of the research, staff and students from 40 schools will be tested for COVID-19 at monthly intervals over a period of at least three months. These schools will be randomly selected by the researchers. All 80 schools will participate in the online survey component, providing information on how COVID-19 is impacting their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. All students, staff and parents would be encouraged to participate and TKI will work directly with schools.
I will provide further information, including a fact sheet from TKI, and consent forms in the coming days.
Our school’s involvement in this research will make a valuable contribution to better understanding the extent of COVID-19 in Western Australia and what measures are required to keep our communities safe during the pandemic.