Changing and staying the same by Nguyen Le Hoang Nhu & Mikhaela Lorenzo

Students from IEC classes 3C and 3D got together for a talk about Aboriginal Australians recently. Mr Sean was invited to share his knowledge and personal experiences from working with Aboriginal people in Djugerari Remote Community School, Walmajarri.

Mr Sean first gave the students information on where Djugerari is located, for them to better understand how life there works. Over the course of six years working there, Mr Sean wore many hats to supply the needs of the school and his students. Aside from being the school’s principal, he had to be the gardener, the teacher and even the school’s mechanic!

The talk became much more personal when Mr Sean asked the students about what they think has changed and what has stayed the same in Aboriginal culture. This opened the students’ minds and challenged them to think and connect their understanding of both the past and the present. The students were more than happy to answer and the room was filled with wonderful ideas and different perspectives. 

Aside from making the talk informative, Mr Sean kept it interesting by showing actual books and pictures, including bilingual reading books he and his wife had made for the students. He also showed his skill in reading in Kriol language, which amused the students. The language interested some of the students, they even asked him to teach them some. The last part of the talk was spent with Mr Sean answering questions from the keen and curious students.

Although the talk was short (or that’s just what the students felt because they enjoyed it so much!), it also gave us a greater understanding about Aboriginal culture. Joseph from 3C conveyed a beautiful and heartfelt thank you message, on all our behalf, accompanied by a small gift to show everyone’s gratitude. It was a well spent period and great learning experience for IEC 3C and 3D.