Our Year 6 students were treated to a very special literacy workshop by the artist Kerry Toomey, a Gamilaroi woman from Pilliga New South Wales, who now resides in Southern Sydney.
Kerry Toomey gave a powerful, thought-provoking presentation on Indigenous storytelling featuring memoir, personal reflections, country, and Australian history. She also explained the origin of Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country as well as showing her artworks and explaining her art practice, inspired by stories of family and country.
After the presentation, the students gathered in small groups to form yarning circles. Kerry explained that a yarning circle is where connections are made and where cultural knowledge is preserved and passed on. It is a place where everyone is considered equal, and participants are encouraged to actively listen to each other.
The students were encouraged to talk about their place of origin and cultural practices, whilst Kerry met with each group to discuss the significance of ochre to Indigenous people.
This workshop formed part of Literacy Circles for Stage 3 English.