Aunties program delivering cultural learning.
Gowrie Street Primary School is fostering the development of culturally strong and confident children through its Aunties program, ensuring that students are connected to their culture and identity.
Led by Yorta Yorta woman Aunty Lisa Lynch-Johnson, the Aunties program provides an invaluable opportunity for First Nations students to come together, learn, yarn, and be creative. Throughout Term 2, students have been engaged in crafting their own head-dresses, while also participating in art workshops and cultural education sessions facilitated by visiting Aunties.
Tina King, Shepparton’s Koori Services Coordinator, delighted students by bringing in a possum skin cloak. Tina explained the significance of the cloak, recounting how babies were traditionally presented with a possum pelt at birth. As the child grew, more pelts were added, and the cloak grew with them.
Artists Juldi Lynch-Jones and Raelene Harbrow have also worked with the students to create a number of artworks, some of which are currently being exhibited at Artesian of Australia gallery in Ms Lynch Jones’ hometown of Drysdale. The exhibition named "What can be" will be on display until June 11.
Originally run as a pilot program by the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project in 2022, Aunties has had an overwhelmingly positive response, prompting its integration as a permanent fixture in the Gowrie Street Primary School timetable.