Aim

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Department at Holy Spirit College offers support, cultural awareness and a range of opportunities and experiences for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison, Ms Kelli Grose and the Aboriginal Education Assistant work in conjunction with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, students, parents and staff at the College to deepen and enhance the understanding of both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Culture.

Support

PLP’s: Personalised Learning Plans are completed by students and their families on a semester basis. The purpose of these plans is for the student to set goals for their own learning and to identify for themselves their strengths and areas in which they believe they could improve, in order to stay engaged in their learning. Using the information provided, the staff work on assisting students with their goals in a supportive and holistic manner.

Mentoring

AIME: Holy Spirit College works closely with AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) an educational program that gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to succeed during and after school.
By matching our students with university student mentors, AIME successfully supports the students to finish high school. AIME mentors regularly visit our school and students also participate in AIME days, usually at the UOW with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from the Illawarra and Macarthur regions.

Educational Opportunities

SCHOLARSHIPS: There are a number of scholarships available to our students (Years 7 – 12) in science, engineering and teaching to name a few. Many of our students have been selected and received scholarships during the past. Scholarship details are accessible on our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander google classroom.

Reconciliation

RECONCILIATION WALK: This year more than 2000 students and 400 community members gathered at Holy Spirit College to Walk for Reconciliation. The event was run by Bellambi Public School to celebrate National Reconciliation Week.

Ceremonies and Awards

DEADLY AWARDS: Holy Spirit College are also involved in the “Deadly Awards,” where students are recognised for their outstanding commitment within the year, to improve in a range of areas from attendance, community involvement, entertainment, sport and music and show a general positive attitude towards their culture, education and learning.

Holy Spirit College award winners for 2019 were: Kaitlyn Burling (year 7) and Euan Colquhoun (year 11)

Funding Grant

CEO: We are extremely lucky at Holy Spirit College to receive a grant from the CEO in Wollongong to use towards enhancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education. Through receiving this grant, we have been able to start designing and planning our Yarning Circle, which we hope to complete in 2020.

Cultural Programs

In 2019 year, we were able to commence a new Cultural Learning Program within the College for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The program involved the students learning how to weave and play the didgeridoo (boys). Singing traditional songs and learning traditional dance will also be offered in 2020 for interested students, further embracing the heritage and culture of the traditional custodians of this land.

Visitors to Holy Spirit College

UNCLE KEVIN BUTLER: Kevin spends every Thursday at Holy Spirit College, working alongside students improving their painting and knowledge of skills in Aboriginal Art. Students enjoy having Uncle Kev as a mentor and have produced some wonderful artwork with his knowledge and guidance.

Uncle Kev, along with the Year 7 students completed our Compassion Mural. This is a meaningful piece of artwork which the College is extremely proud of. A mural will be completed each year and displayed in the CRC.

UNCLE MARK MONTGA: During semester 2 Uncle Mark lead our Didgeridoo program with several of our male students and students taking part and learning how to circular breathe. All participants were extremely enthusiastic about learning the Didgeridoo.