Song-lines of the Thora Valley.

The theme for the NAIDOC celebrations this year is Songlines –The living narrative of our nation, which will run from 3-10 July. NAIDIOC celebrations are an opportunity for all Australians to come together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people. At Chrysalis we are planning a year long focus to deepen our connection to place and the indigenous culture that surrounds us. This intention arose several years ago in the 2012 visioning and has recently been brought to the attention of the  school community again by Monique Buggy and Kelly Small through the P&F. 

This is a chance for Chrysalis to further develop our connections with the Gumbaynggirr people and to understand our place in the Bellingen area. Our program will involve a number of incredibly important visits from local Aboriginal elders over term 2 and 3 this year and a school wide program of engagement. Some of the highlights are:

Bush Tucker walk
In Week 3 on Wed 10th May, Mark Flanders, a Gumbaynggirr man and NSW parks ranger will work with Class 1-3. He will talk about the story and history of the Thora valley, the bush tucker of this area and show the students some stone artefacts from this area. Class 1 will be treated to a bush tucker walk with Mark and as part of his visit Mark will advise the school on the revitalisation of the bush tucker garden next to the Admin area.
Be a part of it
Aunty Maureen, who lives and teaches among the Gumbaynggirr people, will speak to the community about how to devise your own culture within this Gumbaynggirr nation, how to fit in and be apart of it with conscious intention. Do not miss this valuable insight into place from a woman who has deeply thought about the issues involved. She will also bring an art workshop to the children on that day.
Family and Clan
Local Gumbaynggirr man Michael Jarrett, a long time teacher and advocate for the Gumbaynggirr language and author of the Gumbaynggirr dictionary  will run a parent workshop where he will relay stories and talk about family structure and how important it is to keep communication and clan tight, through relationships and the protocols that go with those relationships. He will share his knowledge of the Gumbaynggirr area. 
Dancing up a storm
And leading up to our celebrations in week 9, Aunty Gloria, with the assistance of Monique Buggy and Kelley Small, will be leading a dance project with Class 6, 7 & 8.
Music and sharing
Our music faculty will be involved, with Michael Jarrett bringing songs to the teachers and students. Running concurrently with all of this our visiting teachers will be working with the college of teachers to help the teachers understand the cultural issues involved and assist them to deepen their engagement within the curriculum.
There will be more to come as the planning unfolds throughout the term.