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Students really found the contact with the elders to be important this was for both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and for the students who were non-Indigenous who were part of my Year 12 Modern History class. It really brought the dry history alive. Students were also able to position themselves about how it might have been living as a child at Cherbourg after seeing the boys dormitory and speaking to Rocco about the procedures at Cherbourg for visiting relatives or Murgon. The timeline is very detailed and provides a great insight into the lives of the residents of Cherbourg. It is well and beyond what students know about Australian history.
Students in year 12 history were examining the history of Cherbourg as preparation for their own research into Studies of Diversity which is a theme in the QSA approved Modern History course at Meridan State College. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students visited Cherbourg as part of a consistent program of support for students to engage with culture and see it as part of the curriculum. This support included an excursion to the All-stars game, the Ration Shed visits and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students participate in the preparation for the college’s Naidoc day on the 25th of July.
Year 10 students among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students will also study this in term 3 2013 as part of the National Curriculum unit on Civil Rights which will examine the Freedom Rights and the campaign for the 1967 Referendum.
Hod Humanities and LOTE
Meridan State College
We got the chance to tour the boy’s dormitory and saw old artefacts and photos of how 50 boys slept in the small, cold room. In the dormitory there were paintings, drawings and books created by the young Cherbourg State School students which showed their learning of the alphabet and numbers. We enjoyed the sharing of personal stories by the elders and watched a short video of the elders making a shadow box. A shadow box is a contemporary artwork which can include traditional weapons, personal belongings, photos, implements and memorabilia to help share with the young people about their experiences, stories and history. Going to the Ration Shed was a great experience as we saw and learnt so much about the past of Cherbourg and talking to the elders was fantastic as they shared their culture and we gained knowledge and a sense of connection to our past.
Year 10 “Deadly” Indigenous leader