As part of 2020 NAIDOC Week celebrations one Sydney Catholic school has unveiled unique child hand drawings steeped in tradition and colour.

“My hand pattern reminds me of the proud and positive feelings I have about my culture,” said St Therese’s Catholic Primary School Mascot Indigenous student, Charli Symonds.

Aboriginal Catholic Ministry executive officer, Dr Lisa Buxton, said she worked with 19 Indigenous students from Kindergarten to Year 6 at the school over several months, including Charli, to help co-create the artwork.

“The artwork features the hands of all the student-artists and the three circles and lines at the centre of the painting symbolises travel and the stages of the students’ learning journeys,” Dr Buxton said.

The finished artwork has been scanned and made into plaques, unveiled by principal Gabrielle McAnespie at a special assembly. These will be placed in each of the school’s 21 classrooms, offices and specialist classrooms.

“I like how we have an event like NAIDOC Week, to acknowledge and celebrate our traditions and culture”– Charli Symonds

“The project started as a short film where the students filmed their own ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ while sharing stories about their culture and traditions,” Dr Buxton said.

“It ended with both a film and an artwork where they chose colours to represent their own individual ideas about what ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ means to them as young Aboriginal people today.”

Year 6 student, Luke Chenhall, said he very much liked the idea of the plaques in the classrooms, saying “they act as an inspiration to the younger children.”

Charli, who is in Year 5, said the plaque shows “the amazing things Indigenous people have done for the land” and acknowledges them as the first people of the land “which is a terrific thing.”


Watch the video (below) to see how St Mary’s Catholic Primary School Georges Hall celebrated NAIDOC Week:

Click here  to find out what other ways Sydney Catholic schools celebrated NAIDOC Week. You can also watch our Executive Director’s special NAIDOC Week message below.