There are many activities during the year which make me realise how fortunate I am to work at Westminster. Last week there were two such events that made me so proud to be a part of Westminster and also to see students do things that were of such high quality.
The Reconciliation Assembly which was prepared by our Indigenous students provided a strong message to the whole Senior School on what reconciliation means and why it is so important. This year’s theme is ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action’.
There were several presentations from students where they outlined their family history and showed the challenges they face such as young children being taken away from their families, racism and a lack of opportunities. There were also stories of how their relatives moved into influential positions within the government and general community and make things better for the Indigenous community. Emma Keightley (Year 12 Fereday) and Zak Keightley (Year 10 Fereday) finished their presentation with the words "Being at Westminster school helped us in achieving the goals that our parents and grandparents set for us. We are learning to walk two different worlds in striving for academic success but at the same time retaining what is left of our culture and heritage."
Hudson Linke and Zane Lindblom gave a very powerful presentation that showed how different situations can impact on families.
Hudson showed his pride in having an Indigenous heritage - "I love learning about my culture, and I do this by taking part in community programs and opportunities. Some of the things I have done include being part of the Tal-kin-jeri dance group led by a well-known elder, affectionately known as uncle Moogie. We showcase Aboriginal dance, stories, music, art, language and culture. I have played in Aboriginal football carnivals where I represented Raukkan Football Club where my heritage lies."
Zane’s story was quite different in that he has found it difficult to get to know the history of his family - "I have always been proud to call myself Aboriginal and it has always been something really important to me, however, there have been challenges that my family had to face because of their heritage, which has been something that my Mum and her father continually had to overcome. My grandfather grew up in Hay in New South Wales surrounded by his loving Aboriginal family. He had a very tough upbringing, where he was bullied and ridiculed all his life for having darker skin."
Zane finished by giving a challenging us all - "In 2021, reconciliation is more than just raising awareness and knowledge. The theme More than a word; Reconciliation takes action” urges us all towards braver and more impactful action. We all have a shared responsibility and we should never underestimate the contribution we can make towards understanding Aboriginal culture."
I want to thank and congratulate all the students involved in last week’s assembly and for the message they gave. We are very fortunate to have Mrs Nahla Baroudi as our Indigenous Student Co-ordinator and the support she provides and also the encouragement she gives to each student is invaluable.
It is an assembly I will remember.
The other event was the Dance Allsorts concert on Thursday last week, which provided an opportunity for our curriculum dancers to perform what they have been working on in class. The quality of the dancing and choreography was outstanding and was very much appreciated by the large audience present at the performance. The dance programme has come a long way since dance was introduced to Westminster many years ago. I congratulate all the dancers for their performances and thank Ms Carolyn Obst and Miss Sophie Wilson for the countless hours and their expertise they give to the students.
Starting next Tuesday 15 June, we will be trialling a change to our ‘E’ Bus Service, which currently travels through McLaren Vale and Willunga. From Tuesday morning, this bus route will now start earlier at 7.11 am in Aldinga, before travelling along Main South Road and turning left on to Pages Flat Road, joining the current ‘E’ Bus Route at the corner of Pages Flat Road and Victor Harbor Road. For current users of this service at Willunga and McLaren Vale, there are no changes to pick up and drop off times. We hope that the extension of this service will allow more families to be able to utilise this route to and from Westminster.
Sarah Constructions has confirmed that framework steel deliveries will begin arriving from Tuesday 15 June. This means that the site will gear up again quickly with the arrival of these supplies and necessary machinery. While deliveries will be weather dependent, we can expect a lot more large vehicle movement in and out of Gate 4 from next Tuesday in the week or so to follow. If you are a regular user of Gate 4 through to the Thomas Pavilion and Sports and Swimming Centre, whether on foot, in a car or on a bike, please be mindful of these additional movements and take extra care. Construction site traffic will be using this gate and roadway in both directions and may need safety traffic management from time to time during our peaks of drop-off and pick-up, as well as temporary restrictions to parking in this zone. Thank you for your understanding.
The recent 60th Anniversary Year photo is currently with the printers and we thank all families who have ordered their copy. We have arranged a few extras to be printed so if you think you missed out, you can still order at the special rate of $49.50 through www.trybooking.com/BRGLA. The stock of unallocated photos is limited so please don’t delay placing your order.
Head of Senior School