Inter-school ‘Whadjuk Gift’ engages students in learning and reconciliation

09 March 2018

Hundreds of students from six Catholic primary schools will come together at Mater Dei College in Edgewater for the inaugural Whadjuk Gift this month – a reconciliation initiative combining sport, creative design and culture.

Central to the project are t-shirt designs, with about 350 students each having created a design representing an Aboriginal nation.

Students and staff members involved researched the histories, languages and cultures of the nations as they worked on their designs, and have used the process as an opportunity to establish and strengthen relationships between their schools and local Aboriginal community members.

Year 8 Mater Dei College student, Mary Ware, with a flag that she helped create for the Whadjuk Gift event.

Seventeen designs have been selected to print on shirts for students to wear while competing at the Whadjuk Gift event. As well as wearing the selected designs on their shirts, each student’s own design will be transferred onto a wooden model, and planted en masse on the Mater Dei College oval as a symbol of hope, recognition and commitment to positive change.

The sporting aspect of the Whadjuk Gift will give students across year levels the opportunity to compete on behalf of the different nations represented in a round robin schedule of events, including relays and sprints, before a closing ceremony consisting of group photos and a sausage sizzle.

Mater Dei students from Years 8 to 12 have been involved in preparation for the event, and will be part of the event on the day.

Year 8 students at Mater Dei College work on banner designs for the Whadjuk Gift event

Year 8 students at Mater Dei College work on banner designs for the Whadjuk Gift event

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