Elders' wisdom, helping hands recognised by proud school
WEST Moreton Anglican College is a school proud of its foundations, which are deeply rooted in the history of the land on which it sits.
To recognise its long-standing ties with Yuggera elders, who have guided students over the course of 25 years, a Goondeen acknowledgement pole is now in place at the college.
Goondeen is an elder respected for their wisdom and someone turned to for their opinion.
Indigenous perspectives learning innovator Phyllis Marsh said the pole and surrounding space are a way to acknowledge the service provided by Uncle Albert Holt and the late Aunty Pat King, as well as the collective wisdom of the Yugeera elders.
It is in place right at the entrance of the school, next to the college's foundation stone.
Aunty Pat was an elder of WestMAC when it was first established and Uncle Albert has served at the Karrabin school for 20 years.
Year 8 student Lucas Marsh worked tirelessly during school holidays to grout, design and place the circles around the pole forming a rainbow serpent to represent the creator spirit of Yuggera country.
"In my role I work across all three schools to ensure that how we're embedding that Indigenous perspective into the curriculum is authentic, it's real and that it still exists," Ms Marsh said.
"The serpent rainbow wraps itself around the pole, so it's wrapping itself around that solid base of knowledge. It's a beautiful design.
"There is a child looking towards a teacher with the three rows of knowledge behind them (to represent the three levels of the school) so as they level up, their knowledge becomes more empowering.
"I'm so honoured to be able to do this for the WestMAC community and for the Yuggera community."
Principal Geoff McLay said the college works hard to embed Indigenous perspectives into its curriculum as a priority of student learning.
"Aboriginal culture is a wisdom that in all its wonder through story-telling, ancient beliefs and the intricacies from which an extraordinary spiritual life is based, and the complexity of an ancient social system, detailing roles and responsibilities of identity, is still evident today," he said.
"As an acknowledgement of this wisdom and ancient culture, WestMAC has permanently positioned the acknowledgement pole at the entrance to the school beside the Foundation Stone of WestMAC."
The pole is an initiative of Ms March and the reconciliation committee.