Respectful relationships is at the forefront of school values at Somerville Rise Primary School. On Friday, 19 May, Adam from the Bunurong Community came to perform a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, as an acknowledgement and recognition of the indigenous people as the First Australians and to promote an awareness of the history and culture of the indigenous people in the area.
Students delighted in a yidaki performance as the digeridoo sound mimicked the animals of Australia. Then the smoking ceremony began, using the leaves of three native trees. The native cherry, a natural fire retardant, creates the smoke. This represents family, as the small red berries need another plant as a host in order to grow. The eucalyptus tree has many varieties, representing all people, and of course the leaves burn well. Finally the black wattle represents the elders of the land.
In light of this ceremony and acknowledgement, the junior school building has been renamed Djilak Djirri, a word from the Bunurong language meaning to play, explore and learn. This is just the beginning of our school’s new connection with the Bunurong community as part of our Respectful Relationships program.