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Embedding identity in a cultural sand display signifying the sun and Katanning waterways

Students and teachers of Katanning Primary School gathered around the sand artwork. (Katanning Primary School)

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Students and teachers of Katanning Primary School came together to create a large sand artwork reflecting on this year’s theme of ‘Healing Country’ for NAIDOC 2021.

The large sand display represents the connection to First Nations people, the sun, land and water.

Features of the landscape represented through art

Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer (AIEO) Leanne Eades said the artwork showed how the features of the landscape could be represented through art.

“It signifies the sun, the giver of life and education, the waterways that run through Katanning and the school and the community.”

“It signifies the sun, the giver of life and education, the waterways that run through Katanning and the school and the community,” she said.

“Everyone embraced the occasion as they embedded their identity onto the sand display with an Aboriginal U-shape symbol that represents a person.”

Education assistant Trish Young said this year the school chose to focus on the land.

“Before there were pens and paper, this is how our people communicated.”

“Before there were pens and paper, this is how our people communicated,” she said.

“The u-shape is the symbol that represents a person, so the ones in the middle are the teachers, the ones after that are all the students.”

Ms Young said the students engaged well in the creation of the artwork.

“They were right into it, discussing what it meant and how they understood everything and for them it’s a learning curve as well.”

Representing all cultures coming together to meet on Noongar country

A piece of art was also painted by the students, co-designed by Tara Punch and Ms Eades and presented to Katanning Police Senior Sergeant Carlos Correia.

“The art represents all cultures coming together to meet on Noongar country and reminds us that where ever we go we will always share one sky,” Ms Eades said.

Principal Anita Willis said they were proud the school was on the land of the Koreng people of Noongar country.

“Each Monday, together we sing the song ‘We are Australian’,” she said.

“This reminds us that this has been Aboriginal land forever and that everyone else’s family has come from somewhere else.

“We celebrate how wonderful it is that we are all here together now, living and learning on Noongar land.”

“We celebrate how wonderful it is that we are all here together now, living and learning on Noongar land.”

Tara Punch, Senior Sergeant Carols Correia, Leanne Eades, Patricia Young, Lita Collard. (Katanning Primary School)

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