Count Us In Day
Last Thursday the whole school celebrated another year of involvement in the 'Count Us In' day however like many things this year, we had to compromise with the performance of it. Count Us In is a celebration of music within Australian schools. A small group of chosen students who can play music, got together in early March, with the assistance of John Foreman (OAM) and collaborated to compose a song with both lyrics and music, which was learnt by the schools who chose to participate.
Each school involved stopped at 12.30pm on Thursday 5 November to perform the song as one large group. “Schools can tune in and feel connected to the rest of the country as they sing the song that stops the nation!” This year’s song was titled, You Won’t Bring Us Down. The lyrics were incredibly true for this year. You could even ask your children to show you the Auslan translation, by using this clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEULEQo4PVM
Due to Covid restrictions in place, we are not allowed to sing in the classroom but as I explained to the students when we are given news like this, rather than be upset about it, it is better to look for the silver lining and so instead of singing, we learnt the Auslan sign language to properly communicate the song. We have often done this in the past however the focus has been on the singing of the song. It certainly gave us a richer experience to learn how and to only sign each word.
As we were not allowed to gather as a whole school community, each class stopped at 12.15 to tune into the live coverage. We watched schools from remote WA areas, basking in the heat and beautiful Australian bush, schools in Cairns singing in the Cairns lagoon (yes it did make us all wish we could be there too!) Some schools even played instruments and there was a great representation from the Aboriginal communities in remote NT who also performed an Aboriginal version of the song.
We look forward to taking part again in 2021 and possibly convincing organisers to film at St John's
Ms Lou Devoy
Performing Arts Teacher
Thursday 19 November will be our 2020 ITALIAN DAY!
Students will be celebrating the cultural diversity of our country and the rich contributions of the Italian migrants to Australia. Students should dress in Italian colours (green, white and red) or themed costume. Lunch will be provided by the school but students that do not eat pizza should bring their own lunch. Let's have fun!
Signora De Amicis
NAIDOC Week : 8-15 November
Celebrating 65,000+ year history of Australia
Always Was, Always Will Be, recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. We are spiritually and culturally connected to this country. This country was criss-crossed by generations of brilliant Nations.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.
Australia has the world’s oldest oral stories. The First Peoples engraved the world’s first maps, made the earliest paintings of ceremony and invented unique technologies. We built and engineered structures - structures on Earth - predating well-known sites such as the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge. Our adaptation and intimate knowledge of Country enabled us to endure climate change, catastrophic droughts and rising sea levels.
Always Was, Always Will Be acknowledges that hundreds of Nations and our cultures covered this continent. All were managing the land - the biggest estate on earth - to sustainably provide for their future. Through ingenious land management systems like fire stick farming we transformed the harshest habitable continent into a land of bounty.
NAIDOC Week 2020 acknowledges and celebrates that our nation’s story didn’t begin with documented European contact whether in 1770 or 1606 - with the arrival of the Dutch on the western coast of the Cape York Peninsula.
The very first footprints on this continent were those belonging to First Nations peoples.
Our coastal Nations watched and interacted with at least 36 contacts made by Europeans prior to 1770. Many of them resulting in the charting of the northern, western and southern coastlines – of our lands and our waters.
For us, this nation’s story began at the dawn of time. NAIDOC 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations. It’s about seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000+ year history of this country - which is Australian history. We want all Australians to celebrate that we have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that our sovereignty was never ceded.
Always Was, Always Will Be.