Tathra Public School celebrates its Community Aboriginal Education Project

The official launch of Stage 2 and Stage 3 of Tathra Public School’s Community Aboriginal Education Project took place in August 2014. This launch is the culmination of a three-stage project carried out by the school community during 2013 and 2014, which highlights and fulfils targets set in the school’s 2012–2014 Management Plan.

In 2013, the school produced and launched an Aboriginal language book titled Dhurga and Thaua – Aboriginal Language of the South Coast and Far South Coast. Each piece of work in the book relates to an Aboriginal word from either the Dhurga or Thaua dialects of the South Coast and Far South Coast of NSW.

The book provides a dictionary of these words along with their English translation. Extensive consultation with the local Aboriginal community has taken place to produce the book. The book is being used in all classes at Tathra Public School as part of the Aboriginal Education Program.

Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the project are the community signs depicting significant Aboriginal sites in the Tathra township and the accompanying flyer that will be used as a guide to these sites.

Mr Graham Roberts, relieving principal at Tathra Public School said, “This project has been a wonderful representation of how well the school community works with the broader community here in Tathra. The school is indebted to the Aboriginal community members who were consulted right through each aspect of the project, the Mumbulla Foundation, the Bega Valley Shire Council, the Tathra Lions Club and the school P&C.”

At the launch, all present took part in a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony, before moving to the school hall to participate in the launch.

Mr Roberts maintained, “The Mumbulla Grant Guidelines have been a major part of the Project with respect being given to the Bega Valley Shire Council Social Plan Guidelines and the Tathra Public School Management Plan 2012–2014. The different aspects of the project will provide a rich resource for schools in the local area to access, while simultaneously strengthening links between all community members. The three-stage project also provides a springboard for future initiatives within the DEC such as MGoals and the publication of a book that focuses on three generations of community members and the significant role of Aboriginal people in shaping Australia’s history. We are proud at Tathra Public School to be part of these far-reaching initiatives.”

An additional project to the three-stage project was the investment by Tathra Public School’s P&C in the publication of gift cards that feature Aboriginal artwork carried out in 2013 by students and community members. These cards will be used in raising awareness of the school’s commitment to Aboriginal education in the region, as well as a source of fundraising for future projects to be carried out within the school.

Mr Roberts concluded by saying the school is most appreciative of the generous funding provided by the Tathra Lions Club and he thanked the many community members present for their support and attendance at the event.

Dhurga and Thaua – Aboriginal Language of the Far South Coast and South Coast of NSW

This full-colour, spiral-bound, 36-page book was published by students and staff as part of the school’s Aboriginal Education Program in 2013. If you would like to order a copy of this book click on the link below.

Order my copy

Contributed by Tathra Public School published in 2014.