Thank you to 2024 Year 12 student, Billie Dickson-Bell, for providing the following update.
From the beginning, Clarendon’s reconciliation efforts have been driven by students. A student’s proposal for the school to fly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags sparked collaboration between students, staff and the Board to establish a Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group in 2021.
Now in its third year, the group continues to work towards including a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, culture and contributions within the school curriculum, while executing Clarendon’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
Members are passionate about ensuring the Reconciliation Action Plan adequately demonstrates Clarendon’s commitment and dedication to supporting and uplifting First Nations Peoples. Recently, they conducted a survey among Middle and Senior School students seeking feedback on Clarendon’s reconciliation progress.
Year 11 student, Billie Dickson-Bell, says the survey allowed members to gain insight into future areas for improvement while tracking the group’s progress towards maximising inclusion and education within the school community.
“Throughout this year, the Reconciliation Action Working Group have strived to achieve our goals in further educating the school community about Indigenous issues while expressing our support for First Nations Peoples,” said Billie. “We have already implemented many significant changes, including an Acknowledgement of Country at all formal events, a Welcome to Country at the beginning of each school year and professional development training for staff.”
Currently, the Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group are reviewing the Reconciliation Action Plan to ensure progress and broaden the scale of reconciliation beyond the Clarendon community. Their future goals include establishing a plaque which acknowledges the Wadawurrung Land on which students learn and play, embracing opportunities to continue building relationships with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and provide more education around significant dates such as Mabo Day, Reconciliation Week and National Sorry Day.
“We look forward to continuing to develop the Reconciliation Action Plan in 2024 and express our ongoing support for the recognition, inclusion and uplifting of Indigenous voices in our community,” said Billie. “There is still much to achieve, which can only happen with support of students, staff and the Clarendon community.”
The Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group meet at 8.00am each Monday. Members encourage those interested in furthering Clarendon’s reconciliation to attend.