This week at Federation Square, Save the Children hosted a variety of workshops to highlight some the difficult situations faced by children all around the world, including sanitation, war and conflict and inadequate school facilities. VACL staff Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir and Mandy Nicholson teamed up with Save the Children to highlight some of the barriers faced by children when it comes to education.
In this workshop, students stepped into a classroom taught by a teacher who was speaking a language they didn't understand, in this case either Woi Wurrung or Boon Wurrung, and asked if they had any idea what was going on. This prompted the kids to contemplate many questions, including - do you think if you came to school everyday, and you couldn't understand what the teacher was saying, would you want to go to school? Would you feel confused? How can this problem be solved? What could make it easier?
This lesson was one well learned by the children who were really responsive to the exercise offering insightful and thoughtful responses to these challenges.
These issues are universal and relate to children overseas, children coming to Australia and Indigenous children in Australia whose 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th language is English.
Congratulations to Save the Children staff and volunteers, teachers and children from a variety of Primary and Secondary schools across Melbourne, VACL staff Mandy and Aunty Fay, and all others involved, for a very worthwhile event.
Sharing some snaps from VACL's trip to Warrnambool & Heywood this week.
VACL is working with Warrnambool Primary School and Heywood & District Secondary College to create some exciting new digital story books. Last week VACL members Paul Paton, Joel Wright and Emma Hutchinson, together with Victoria University student Ben Townsend, headed up to Warrnambool to speak with the staff and students of Warrnambool Primary School and Heyward District Secondary College.
The books will feature Gunditjmara Creation stories, illustrated and narrated by the students themselves. VACL is very excited to be collaborating with the schools and community to help see their creation stories come to life!
For more information about the Gunditjmara Qbooks Project click here.
For more information about the Schools Digital Resource Project click here.
Vicki Couzen’s, VACL Board Member, lauched her first solo exhibition ‘Marooka – to take care of'’ at Maroondah Art Gallery in July. The exhibition showcased artwork, language, song, dance and ceremony “taking the audience on a journey into Gunditjmara Country” – (quoted from the Maroondah art gallery program).
As part of the exhibition Vicki Couzens and Dr Kris Eira held a free public lecture on the 12th of July during NAIDOC week, where they told their stories and connections to each other, as language workers and artists.
VACL Project Officer Mandy Nicholson performed with the Djirri Djirri dance group, and held language workshops for primary school students as part of the exhibition. To see a video clip of the students from the Village School Croydon learning to count to five in Wurundjeri with Mandy click here.
Below are a selection of photos from the exhibition.
VACL held an exciting Dhauwurd Wurrung Language Workshop for the Heywood & District Secondary College in November Last year. Over the two days, the group was introduced to the subject of language sources and language families, and by the end of the second day, were able to introduce themselves, where they came from and do a "Welcome to Country" in their own language. Communities that want to run similar workshops are encouraged to get involved with VACL.