Croydon Community School’s Commitment to Reconciliation
Croydon Community School will continue our commitment to Reconciliation. At the end of 2018 Croydon Community School installed three new flag poles to fly the Australian flag along with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. This was to:
- Show respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may come to or visit the school
- Show our commitment as a school to Reconciliation and
- As a reminder of our First Nations people’s history which pre-dates colonisation, and of the impact of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their land, culture, families, and identity.
At the start of the school year in 2019, Croydon Community School held a flag raising ceremony, smoking ceremony and barbecue with Aboriginal elders from Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place. Having a smoking ceremony to usher in the new year gave students, staff and families further insight into the significance of the flags. These flags are important because when a First Nations person walks into this school and sees these three flags flying together they can feel proud of their heritage and know that they are a part of our community. It is an important sign of respect and shows our philosophy of inclusion at this school. But these flags aren’t only important for first nations people. They are important for all Australian people regardless of our heritage and cultural backgrounds. It is important because it reminds us to always be respectful of this land and country. It reminds us that while we are one nation, Australia has a very rich history that goes beyond the past two hundred years. It also reminds us as a school community to be welcoming and respectful to everyone. Flying the flags is a highly visible symbol of respect and can be used to promote a sense of community and create a welcoming environment.
Furthermore, to this, Croydon Community School is trying to increase our experiences and opportunities to learn across the school about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture. We are encouraging different opportunities for learning through participation in local Indigenous events such as Reconciliation week events as well as through strengthening our relationship with Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place. Most students at the School have visited Bunjilaka First Nations Exhibit at the Melbourne Museum. Many have also completed the Indigenous learning unit at the Woori Yallock Farm School. We are encouraging more First Nations visitors to the school to share their knowledge and to provide positive, in depth learning experiences for students and staff.