The stories and culture of Indigenous Australians form part of the rich education of students at St Stanislaus’ College. Stannies lies on Wiradjuri land and the ancestors of this land are recognised through ritual and ceremonies during the school year as a mark of respect. The Aboriginal programs at Stannies are co-ordinated by Mr Jordan Boney, College Aboriginal Education Officer, and include the following:
Stannies Indigenous students meet with Jordan weekly in the Performing Arts Centre and discuss and practise many important aspects of Aboriginal Culture. They learn how to play the didgeridoo, consider the significance and symbolism of painting and Aboriginal Art and practise and perform a range of dance items which are then performed within and beyond the Stannies community. The weekly cultural teaching meetings allow Jordan to discuss men’s business with the Stannies Indigenous students and the important role of male role models within family.
The Stannies students visit the Catholic Primary Schools in Bathurst engaging with students in dance and didgeridoo playing.
The College is a member of the Bathurst Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) and Junior AECG. The Stannies students are invited to local Bathurst AECG events and support the local community engagement in NAIDOC Week and Sorry Day.
There is a continuing interest at Stannies in developing a deeper understanding of Indigenous language with particular awareness of Wiradjuri. A particular emphasis is placed on language learnt in dance and song.
ACADEMIC AND TEACHER SUPPORT
Jordan provides individual support to students and parents in a range of academic matters, including schoolwork, assessments and behaviour management, within and beyond the classroom. Along with the College Learning Support team. Jordan also works closely with staff and students in developing Personal Learning Plans to assist students set their academic and personal goals throughout the school year.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Jordan and the College Counsellor provide support to students within the Aboriginal program with time out to talk and work with external services within Bathurst such as Headspace. Opportunities for academic and mental health support have led to continuing improved outcomes for students such as increasing student retention rates and completion of the HSC.
Connection with family is an important factor in supporting the enrolment of Indigenous students, the majority of whom board at the College. Kylie Martinez, the College part-time Indigenous Education Officer, works with Jordan and the College Pastoral Care Team and Boarding staff, to ensure families are fully connected and engaged in the education of the students.