INDIGENOUS EDUCATION & BOARDING AUSTRALIA
Last week saw Boarding Australia’s second Indigenous Education & Boarding Symposium, with more than 100 boarding, education and research professionals responding to the themes of ‘on-boarding’, ‘engaging’ and ‘staying connected’. These themes were expanded upon through keynote addresses and then action groups were formed to recommend strategies and best practice.
For rural and remote Indigenous secondary students, a boarding school education remains the only possibility for secondary education. Travelling far from home and going to boarding school supports these young people in academic achievement, personal growth and future opportunities with the skills to walk in both worlds.
Whilst at the symposium, Boarding Australia announced that it will now be known as Indigenous Education & Boarding Australia. Anthony Bennett, Chair, stated that the vision of the organisation is ‘that all Indigenous students attain educational outcomes that enable them to be successful in their future choices’.
As recently advised, Mount St Bernard College was a finalist in the area of ‘Excellence in the Provision of Indigenous Student Health & Wellbeing’. Whilst we did not win the award, the College was recognised for its efforts on the evening.
Mount St Bernard College has worked hard this term to support ‘on-boarding’ for all students, both day and boarding. The Year 7 Day School Transition program has helped the Year 7 cohort understand together what it means to be at Mount St Bernard College. During this time students were engaging with learning about the College, it’s tradition’s and the expectations around being ‘safe’, ‘responsible’ and ‘respectful’ while a member of the College. Staff also used this time to learn more about the students with a handful of diagnostic tests and work samples amongst the activities.
Last week we received the sad news of the passing of Sr Barty. Sr Barty concluded her work at Mount St Bernard College towards the end of last year after 69 years’ service to the College and Herberton community.
Sr Barty’s witness and support of staff, students and the wider community will be fondly remembered by so many. This Friday we will formally farewell Sr Barty at the Our Lady Help of Christians Church at Earlville. We continue to pray for Sr Barty, her family, and the Mercy community during this time.
PERFORMANCE ARTS WORKSHOP
On Saturday the 16th March, 20 MSB students were treated to an exclusive Performance Arts workshop opportunity with Bangarra Dance Theatre at the new Cairns Performing Arts Centre. Bangarra performed their last show of the Bennelong Regional Tour, in Cairns. Originally, the workshop was planned to be in a rehearsal room at the Cairns Performing Arts Centre. When we arrived, Dan, the Rehearsal Director for Bangarra, surprised us by hosting the workshop on the main stage.
First, the students were given a tour backstage, where five Bangarra dancers were waiting for us. A circle was formed to introduce who we were and where we were all from. During the workshop, each Bangarra dancer provided a different element of focus. The participants learnt how to do a totem animal dance and learnt some choreography from the Bennelong show. This was an amazing, inspiring and unforgettable experience; an opportunity to attend a first class workshop and connect with the Bangarra experience.
Students delighted in seeing the stage come to life that evening as they enjoyed the performance by the Bangarra dancers. All staff and students enjoyed the powerful, emotive show of Bennelong.
Parents & Carers, if you would like more information with regards to future pathway opportunities for your child with Bangarra or NAISDA, Australia’s premier Indigenous Training college producing the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers, please contact Miss Andrea Gower on 40 961 444.