Burdekin Catholic High School – Indigenous Education
Fire Starters – How to be an Agent of Change
The Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival – the content, the context and the contributors all converge, creating a uniquely “Burdekin” experience.
On Friday, 12 October, Burdekin Catholic High School hosted Warren Mundine, author of Warren Mundine in Black + White. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from Burdekin Catholic High School and Ayr State High School attended this workshop session. “Warren’s vision for Australia and for its First Nations is one of pride, prosperity and optimism.” A touchstone for all and inspiration for upcoming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth – the leaders and Elders of tomorrow.
Once again, the breadth and depth of participating authors reflected the Festival organisers’ determination to offer a range of literary experiences. In 2016, Burdekin Catholic High School partnered with the Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival in hosting Lesley and Tammi Williams who shared their stories, encapsulated in their autobiographical, Not Just Black and White. Their presentation to BCHS Year 11s and Indigenous students from the High Schools challenged and inspired.
This year we focussed on capacity-building opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths in this workshop: Pride, Prosperity & Optimism – How to be an Agent of Change. Warren took students on a journey from his country beginnings, through Marist Brothers’ schooling, trade training, tertiary studies to his life of influence in business and politics. Warren also drew on his Aboriginal identity, country town childhood, Catholic education and city opportunities to encourage us all.
“The workshop was a good insight into how Warren progressed through his school life and coped with many different challenges. It helped us because it shows that if you work hard in school you can achieve great things. It definitely was a valuable opportunity for high school students because being students who are stepping out into the real world, it gave us some knowledge on ways to overcome challenging experiences.” commented Takia-May Solomon, Year 11 Student at B.C.H.S..
Although committed to our small-town community, we are not confined to a ‘small-town mindset’. We are a part of something bigger – I want kids from the Burdekin to experience that, whether they stay or leave here, or like me leave and follow their calling to come home.
Ignite Your Mind!
Fiona Scott – Indigenous Education Teacher