More than 500 students flocked to Ollie Robbins Oval on Friday to celebrate diversity, culture and respect.
The students from years 7, 8, 9 and 10 were there for Dubbo College South campus’ reconciliation celebrations, which aimed to promote respect between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.
“We’re really keen to … build tolerance and understanding of Aboriginal culture,” deputy principal Jacqui Thompson said.
“Also that acceptance of diversity and having different backgrounds. A lot of our kids come from out west, or their families do.
“Earlier in the year we had a Harmony Day and promoted diversity of cultures in that.
“We’re just really trying to build that tolerance and understanding of different histories.”
Key community members and organisations were invited to contribute on the day, with Aunty Di McNaboe delivering the Welcome to Country and offering her support to the Indigenous girls dance group, before the students broke off into yarning circles.
For Aunty Di, reconciliation was all about respect.
“Reconciliation to me is about working together, learning about different people’s culture, having a deep respect for those people’s knowledge and learning from one another,” she said.
We want to welcome them and get their advice on how to best teach their kids.
“It’s important because the kids are getting to learn a little bit about community from Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
“And it’s about having fun.”
Burnside and the Dubbo Opportunity Hub were also on hand to advise the school on how to run the day.
With 30 per cent of South campus students identifying as Indigenous, Mrs Thompson said input from the Aboriginal community was paramount.
“One of the things that we’re working hard to do is bring more community involvement into the school and have more parent involvement,” she said.
“We want to really welcome them and get their advice on how to best teach their kids.”
The girls dance group is already set to benefit from the increased community involvement, with Aunty Di coming on board to work with them “on their steps, and their understanding of Aboriginal culture and dance”.