Rather than the usual celebrations for this day, WIN Foundation decided to help reach out to parents of Gleneagles Secondary School this year for the International Women’s Day celebration. There is a radical need for Australian schools to make changes not only in the pedagogy to cater for a growing multicultural/multiracial mix of their students but also new ways to reach out to parents, especially mothers, to give the best benefit to students.
There are students that not only struggle with English as their second or third language, but there are students that have not studied for a year, sometimes more, in their journey to Australia. English, cultural displacement, religious differences and misunderstandings all contribute to the issues. This means parents need to be pro- active to help smooth the passage of their children through school. Strong family values and family support help promote a more positive environment for students.
The question ‘What is culture?’ was thrown open to the gathering and numerous parents, staff members and WIN Foundation members gave their views.
Rachel Shields performed an ‘acknowledgment to country’ ceremony paying respects to the elders of the Wurudjeri community of the region, past and present. Rachel talked about respect for the environment and Australians to become more conscious of the fragility of our environment and learning to live side-by-side, firstly with fellow human beings of all backgrounds and then with all other living things, including nature.
She then presented an Aboriginal song from her ‘country’ to close proceedings. (We sing and dance together. If we do not, things will fall apart.)
Read the full report and see more photos below.