NAIDOC Week at Malanda State High School
7 July 1999

The flag-raising at the school gates
On Wednesdsay 7 July 1999, the Malanda State High School began a continuing program to celebrate and raise awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures at the school. The NAIDOC Celebration started with a simple flag-raising ceremony. Ngadjonji elders and their children and friends were in attendance at the historic raising of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
        Chris Zilm, Headmaster of the Junior School, welcoming guests
Driven from their homeland forcibly over fifty years ago, the elders were honoured and deeply moved by the respect shown for their survival and their preservation of their culture.

Celebrations continued with a variety of events. A video on the quest for justice for Aboriginal people was presented by Malcolm Mabo. Local elders shared their stories of this country with the students. Lorraine Peters, herself a stolen child, and her granddaughter Serina, presented the video Bringing Them Home, which was made in response to the National Inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Islander children from their families. A basket-weaving workshop showed us all how it was done. Torres Strait Islanders provided a cultural display and the school looked wonderful with artworks contributed by Aboriginal people and pavement art by the students. The TAFE band from Cairns was probably the favourite with the students, combining musicality, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and a sassy style.

The basket-making workshop Explaining Aboriginal symbols The Cairns TAFE band

All photos by K.Mackay.

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