During Week 3 I attended the Yellakka Yellarkarri (YY) Leadership Program at Tauondi Aboriginal College in Port Adelaide. The program was organised by Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) and attended by about 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Years 8 to 12 from 13 schools.
We participated in a variety of activities throughout the week. These included learning Kaurna language, singing together, participating in ceremonies and learning about history. We also painted banners and totems with important traditional symbols, to be displayed in the new Reconciliation Garden at the Catholic Education South Australia office. We were introduced to elders. Aunty Katrina, Uncle Ray and Uncle Jonathan shared their stories and experiences, and gave advice about how to stand up as a proud Indigenous person and bring about positive change without the use of violence.
A highlight of the week was creating a statement about our beliefs and how we wish Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be treated in Australia. The statement was given to Frances Bedford MP to be read in State Parliament.
Thank you to Mrs Coxhill and Ms O’Connell for accompanying me during the week. YY was a great experience and I hope to return next year!
Year 9 Student