• 770 students have gathered together to make a human sized Aboriginal flag in wake of Reconciliation week. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
In the wake of Reconciliation Week, students of Aldinga School in South Australia, have worked tirelessly to create a human Aboriginal Flag, and the results are awesome.
By
Laura Morelli

2 Jun 2017 - 3:51 PM  UPDATED 5 Jun 2017 - 11:51 AM

It took five weeks of planning, 770 students and several sleepless nights for 15 minutes of fame – so the young students could make a human sized Aboriginal flag, according to Aboriginal Education teacher, Burda Sanders.

Burda’s role at Aldinga school is to ensure Indigenous children have educational assistance, provide resources for staff in regards to Aboriginal issues in the curriculum and outdoor education.

“We were all able to show that we’re loud and we’re proud of our Aboriginal heritage.”

“Anything that raises the profile of Aboriginal culture, engages Aboriginal students and aims on closing the gap,” she explained.

Together her and a tightly knit team work hard to ensure the integrates Indigenous information and culturally appropriate activities.

“Our aim is always to celebrate Aboriginal culture. By getting involved in reconciliation week, we’re showing our whole school has huge commitment to Aboriginal culture and issues and are really invested in it,” Burda said.

The human flag task was a challenge that was widely accepted by the entire school, with a lot of hard work put into it behind the scenes.

“We had to do the practicalities of it first. We looked at how many kids and how many squares of cardboard we needed,” Burda said.

“We had the year 7 class do the math calculation for the size of the flag on the oval. It was then tested and reviewed by other students who gave great feedback. Overall it was great to see kids be able to use their skills and put them into practice.”

On Thursday the children were finally able to show off their hard work, which was captured by drone photography and Burda says their efforts certainly paid off.

“We were out there for 15 minutes which amazed me because I’ve had sleepless nights thinking it wasn’t going to work.”

“We were all able to show that we’re loud and we’re proud of our Aboriginal heritage.”

The school also participated in several other events to promote Indigenous affairs. There were assemblies to launch reconciliation week. The kids coloured Aboriginal flags designed in footprints to represent the theme this year which was: “lets take the next step.”

“We had a reconciliation breakfast and we went to the reconciliation event held by Onkaparinga council,” Burda said.

“I see these kids engage without knowing that they are learning – they’re out bush seeing native plants and hearing words in language, but that’s all normal to them.”

There are around 30 children that identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander at Aldinga school and Chad Peterson is one of them.

The 7-year-old was selected to do an Acknowledgment of Country at the Noarlunga reconciliation event in front of thousands of people. His mother, Kelly Peterson, says he’s proud to stand up and show his Aboriginal heritage.

“he’s been asked to do it several times now and he’s practiced so much he almost knows it off by heart!”

Kelly says the best thing was that the children in Chad’s class all came along to support him.

“There are three children that identify as Aboriginal in his class but they all made headbands and necklaces painted in Aboriginal colours around their neck and we’re happy to see him up there.”

Chad’s class also performed Ridgy Didge - a song about the colours of the Aboriginal flag and what they symbolise.

Chad no longer sees his father who is of Indigenous heritage, so Kelly says the only way he connects with his culture, is through the ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) room at school.

“I’ve seen a difference in Chad. He receives such great support from the ATSI room which has Indigenous artefacts, maps and is just a warm cultural place for kids really,” she said.

“I see these kids engage without knowing that they are learning – they’re out bush seeing native plants and hearing words in language, but that’s all normal to them.”

As for Chad his favourite part of the day wasn’t making the flag or doing the acknowledgement, instead it was all about eating the native foods.

“My favourite part of the day was trying the sausages. I liked the emu and kangaroo but I didn’t like the crocodile because it tasted funny,” Chad said.

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