Indigenous Connections

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, the Gubbi Gubbi, Wakka Wakka, Turrabul and Yuggera peoples and celebrate their ongoing contributions to culture and society.

Grace Lutheran College endorses a whole school approach to provide a learning environment where Indigenous perspectives are embedded across curriculum. This includes key focus around National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week

Indigenous students are offered a range of support services. Students and families are able to connect with Identified Staff for cultural, academic and wellbeing needs. Longstanding relationships with community leaders continue to build valued and supported partnerships. 

Curriculum

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Business & Legal Studies

As part of the Business and Legal studies curriculum, students in Year 11 explore the ‘Wik Peoples VS QLD’ case and its effect on Australian Law.

Through the unit students learn about state-wide Governance, and the effect that native title has on law reform.


As a Legal Studies and Visual Art Teacher of Grace I am often inspired by the syllabus. In Year 11 Legal Studies, students have been learning about Governance and the effect that native title has on law reform. This artwork, was inspired by the case study, ‘Wik People’s v State of Queensland’ dated 2004.

Linda Harrod-Eagles, Teacher


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Christian Studies

Indigenous Perspectives make up a key part of Grace’s Christian Studies (Middle School) and Religion and Ethics (Senior School) curriculum.


In Year 7 students explore a range of creation stories, including Australian Indigenous stories. The purpose of this unit is to encourage students to understand that who we are informs who we become. Students continue these studies in their Year 9 God’s World, Our World unit where they learn about responsible environmental stewardship and the importance of caring for gift that God gave us. Indigenous perspectives are incorporated here through the studies of sustainable practices of land use and the traditional connection to the land.

Students in Year 10 explore the legacy of two modern Indigenous heroes, William Cooper (political activist and community leader) and his connection to WW2s Kristallnacht, and Reg Saunders (Veteran, officer at the Dep of Aboriginal Affairs, recipient of an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours). This unit, Sacred Stories, examines how stories help communities pass on cultural wisdom; religions pass on the sacred teachings of their faith; and how they help us make sense of our world and place within it.

In one of their final units, Social Justice, Year 11 Religion and Ethics students research a range of social justice issues and develop a social justice campaign to advocate for those who don’t have a voice in our society. Many students choose to engage in the exploration of Indigenous issues, that being health, education, welfare, discrimination, rights or legal issues.

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Creative Industries

At Grace, our Visual Art units aim to showcase Indigenous culture and heritage through the stories and meaning expressed in art.

Students are encouraged to identify the connection to culture and heritage, and reflect on how these stories are told through artistic practice.



In Year 9, students have the opportunity to undertake an excursion to the Glass House Mountains for a landscape painting unit. Here the students participate in Ochre painting with Gubbi Gubbi Traditional Owner Aunty Christine Stuart of Bulu Yabun. During this activity, Aunty Christine shared her knowledge of country and the traditional use of ochre.



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Digital Solutions

Digital Solutions provides students with the knowledge, skills, processes and understanding of information technology across a range of devices and programs. Through the use of online games and applications, multimedia, robotics and much more, students refine their skills in design, problem solving and communication.

In their Year 9 units, Digital Solutions students explore Dreamtime stories. Through linking to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture, students can explore the local connection to Country and Place.



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English

Throughout their English studies, students at Grace explore a range of texts that reflect onIndigenous heritage and Australian History.

These texts include titles such as The Australian Dream (Adam Goodes), The Secret River (Kate Grenville) and Dark Emu (Bruce Pascoe). Students are encouraged to explore social issues through structured activities, including group discussions, persuasive speeches, story-telling, writing and reflection.

In Year 11 units, students use their studies of literature to explore positive outcomes and impacts that deepen their understanding of human conditioning. Students continue this in Year 12 with a persuasive speech on a social issue that also aims to demonstrate  the power of literature and film.
 
By exploring these different narratives, students can grow and develop their understanding of Indigenous history and experiences.

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Food & Fashion

Students who study Food and Fashion subjects in Year 9 have the opportunity to explore Indigenous perspectives in the East meets West unit.

The unit explores the techniques used in Indigenous culture, and encourages students to use this knowledge (addition to key elements and principles of design) to create modern designs.

Through this process students can learn about the cultural significance and history of these techniques, while also developing their practical design skills.

In our Year 8 Food Studies unit, the students learn about the traditional diet of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the importance of hunting and gathering to source food. The students get to sample some Australian native plant foods including Wattleseed, Native Pepperberries, Quandong and Finger Lime Jams. 

During NAIDOC Week some of these foods are also included in Practical Cookery sessions and student sampling lunches. In Hospitality studies, students make a syrup using Lemon Myrtle leaves, which can be sourced from trees growing on the College grounds. The syrup is then used to flavour the Fruit Punch served to guests at Grace Lutheran College's Green Tree Frog Restaurant. staff and students also try to source other traditional ingredients for recipes prepared at the Restaurant. 

 

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Modern History

At Grace, students studying Modern History explore a variety topics covering Indigenous Perspectives throughout Australian history.

These include the Australian Frontier Wars, Indigenous cultural practices, Indigenous history and local heritage. 

Students are encouraged to explore their studies of history by considering the contributions of Indigenous peoples, and the impact of this on the history of Australia. 

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Science

A highlight of the Year 9 and Year 10 Science curriculum is the exploration of traditional practices used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Students investigate a range of traditional chemical reactions and methods, and explore how these relate to their other studies of science.

Co-curricular

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ANZAC Day

Students, staff and community members attending our annual ANZAC Day service are encouraged to reflect on Indigenous perspectives as part of the commemorations. This includes students of Indigenous heritage presenting an official opening Acknowledgement to Country at each campus.

In 2021, students at our Caboolture Campus also performed an extract from the play Black Diggers. This narrative focuses on the untold story of indigenous soldiers and their sacrifices during WWI.

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Community Partnerships

Students at Grace can engage with a range of community partnerships and connections.

Students looking to pursue careers in the medical field can take part in Mater traineeships, where they gain real world experience and industry knowledge. 

On the sports field, students can undertake a range of activities and experiences, including visits from a number of sporting teams such as the Australian Indigenous Football Team, the Indigenousroos.

In 2021, students from our Rothwell campus were invited to attend a special sit-down with Minister for Indigenous Australians Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP. The students were able to speak with the minister regarding his achievements and future plans, while also providing their own perspectives as young people.


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College Events

At Grace Lutheran College, students of Indigenous heritage are encouraged to present the Acknowledgement of Country at all formal events.
 
Indigenous perspectives are also incorporated into the programs of annual events, such as ANZAC Day. At our Caboolture Campus, artworks from Indigenous artists are displayed throughout the grounds to celebrate local stories, history and heritage.

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NAIDOC Week

Every year, the community of Grace Lutheran College mark NAIDOC Week to celebrate the richness of Indigenous culture. Students undertake a range of activities inside and outside of the classroom, including special Chapel Time, lunchtime activities, special college-wide displays and talks with our local community.


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National Reconciliation Week

Grace Lutheran College students and staff mark the annual National Reconciliation Week event with a number of campus-wide activities and commemorations. 

During lunchtimes students are encouraged to add to the existing Wall of Hands display with their own written contributions, and take part in a special Reconciliation-themed chapel. This chapel is presented by our existing Ministry team with contributions from our Indigenous Student Leaders. 

During the week, students are also able to attend a special Yarn Time presented by one of Grace’s special guests. This session aims to encourage conversations between Indigenous students and the Grace cohort as a whole. 


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Yarn Time

Yarn Time is integrated into the Grace Community through both events and curriculum activities. 

Certain subjects, such as Creative Textiles and Food and Nutrition, include Yarn Time as an opportunity to expand on their practical studies and explore Indigenous perspectives more deeply. This can include discussions on the cultural significance of the techniques and ingredients they are using, or the history linked to them.

Similarly, Grace GEL classes also hold Yarning Circles to facilitate certain discussions or explore relevant topics. A key element of the GEL program is to grow student to be caring enquirers who engage in activities to develop themselves, care for others and become positive contributors to the community. Yarn Time encourages students to connect with the heritage and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, while also reflecting their own identity and history.

During National Reconciliation Week, students are also able to attend a special Yarn Time presented by one of Grace’s special guests. This session aims to encourage conversations on the NRW topic, and among the Grace cohort as a whole.  

Ancestors and elders connect us to the land we call home–the land we call Australia–through storytelling, art, traditions, language and customs. This piece displays the connections to country that run deep for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples–celebrating the acknowledgement that Australia Always Was, Always Will Be.

 
Artwork created for Grace Lutheran College by Juanita Page, Goreng Goreng woman

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