Some ideas for class or school Reconciliation or NAIDOC Week celebrations

Just a few of the many good ideas that QATSIF has seen as the centrepieces at school celebrations:

Carmel College

Carmel College

Sea of hands

A strong symbol of Reconciliation dating back to ANTaR’s Sea of Hands in 1997.  Each student is invited to add their messages and symbols of Reconciliation to their paper hands which are then displayed in a prominent place.

St John’s Anglican School - bark canoes

St John’s Anglican School - bark canoes

Boomerang / message stick / bark canoes

A variation on the “Sea of Hands” theme using boomerangs, message sticks or bark canoes.

Brigidine College - boomerangs

Brigidine College - boomerangs

QATSIF’s 2018 Reconciliation Week ceremony

QATSIF’s 2018 Reconciliation Week ceremony

Paper flowers

Using a paper flower cutter available from a craft store (eg. Lincraft), create flowers for each participant to write words, hopes or prayers on for Reconciliation, Sorry Day etc. 

 These can either be:

  • added to form a display or

  • the petals gently folded and placed into water.  The petals should reopen due to capillary action to reveal the words.

Laying down of stones

For religious schools - based on John 8: 1-11. 

Students can dramatise the story of the “Woman Caught in Adultery”.  Students are asked to bring forward a stone to symbolise their rejection of hate, bigotry and hurtful comments and actions.

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Rainbow serpent

Use butcher’s paper to produce a long Rainbow Serpent with a section for each class or year level.  Each class is given a different set of coloured dots to write or draw their messages on.  In the week leading up to the ceremony, classes add their coloured dots to their section of the Rainbow Serpent.  The multi-coloured Rainbow Serpent is used as the centre-piece of the celebration and displayed prominently afterwards. 

The story of the Black / White warriors:

A dramatised anti-racism story used across a number of schools.  It tells the story of two peoples living on a distant planet – each has a different side of their body coloured black or white. 

The two groups hate one another, until one day there is a chance meeting of two young warriors from the warring groups at a waterhole.

Saint Mary’s Catholic College, Kingaroy

Saint Mary’s Catholic College, Kingaroy

One warrior carefully approaches the waterhole behind a warrior from the other group who is drinking.  They both see each other’s reflections, but in a reflection left and right sides are swapped.  Even though they are sworn enemies, because of the reflection they see the face of their own people.  Seeing themselves in the other leads them to sit and talk and begin the Reconciliation process.

Religious schools may want to follow this with a blessing using the black and white paints.

St Mary’s Catholic College, Woree

St Mary’s Catholic College, Woree

Hand prints

Using a large piece of calico, over a period of time, students in each class are invited to add a hand print as a sign of Reconciliation.