As the school year draws to a close, Belmomt High School reflects on 2016. This year, new programs have been introduced and actively engaged students’ learning. It was a great year for all BHS students.
Throughout the year, students had the chance to participate in events which included NAIDOC week, Hunter TAFE excursion and YAKKA Day. Students who participated got a lot out of these events and would have learnt a lot more, not only about their culture but learnt more about themselves. In Term 3, a group of students went over to Hamilton TAFE. The day was for Indigenous students to see what is on offer at TAFE and to meet the Newcastle Knights players. The students also got to do some artwork with Darren Dunn, an artist who actually designs the NRL jerseys.
This term, some students will be heading out to Broadmeadow basketball stadium for employment opportunities.
Caitlan Johnston in Year 8 represented Newcastle Emus in the Koori Knockout. Caitlan is only 14 years old and she played in the open women’s rugby league team. She is one tough young lady.
Bro Speak has started as of the second week back of school this term. This program is designed to help the boys be strong in their Aboriginal identity, and learn how to develop and achieve their life goals. We have invited the boys from Whitebridge High School. We are all working together on how to develop good self esteem and achieve goals.
Liam Begnall has been teaching some of our boys how to play the didgeridoo. This term the boys have been playing at our local primary schools.
Kunar Kayku Committee
This committee was formed with Belmont High School and their feeder primary schools. This committee won a grant of $50,000 to implement courses and cultural classes. At present, all teachers have been trained in the Eight Ways of Learning. Mrs Dybell and myself are currently running workshops with the primary and high school students on our school totem project, on which every school will have the Awabakal totem of the Eagle.
The girls had a few guest speakers come to talk to them. Sista Speak is about gaining self confidence and learning more about their culture.
Caitlan Johnston played in the Open women’s rugby league Koori Knockout in Sydney for Hunter United. Caitlan also went on a week’s camp with the NRL to Sydney to stay in the NRL Academy. She was put through training and education camps.
Two of our students, Caitlan Johnston and Daniel Mateo, played in the Koori Netball Knockout at Charlestown last weekend. Both students enjoyed representing their culture and playing in front of their families.
Our digital story workshops are underway for our Year 7 and 8 students. We are working together alongside our feeder primary schools with their Year 5 and 6 students. The students are working towards their individual stories and sharing their culture.
This year’s celebrations started off with our annual Buttabah Oztag Gala Day, where 400 students participated. Good day had by all. The NAIDOC Assembly was held on Thursday 21 July. Our students represented their culture through dance, didge playing, and explaining what NAIDOC means to them. Thank you to Roselea Newburn, the Vice President of Minimbah AECG, for being our guest speaker. Also we appreciate all the families that attended. The Didge group has performed at the Jewels Public School NAIDOC assembly. After our NAIDOC Assembly we had a NAIDOC bush tucker for the students. Students were able to try different Australian sausages. These included crocodile, emu, and kangaroo.