Reconciliation Week at Aurora Southern Highlands Steiner School

Ngununggula (nun-gung-nung-gulla) means ‘walking and working together on the same land’. This is a local Gundungurra word that our school community learnt last year. It was taught to us by Wiradjurri woman Aunty Rachel Buckley, who we are very blessed to have as our full-time Cultural Educator here at Aurora. 

From the time that we first heard this word, we all knew that it was precious, and that we wanted the spirit of Ngununggula to permeate all the different aspects of school life. It was not long before a Ngununggula song was heard coming from classrooms, and the Ngununggula Yarning Circle was established for parents and educators. Ngununggula has given us a new lens to look at our stewardship and environmental activities, our storytelling practices, and our approach of learning through doing. 

This week, our Class 3-4 is in the midst of their First Nations Culture main lesson, where teacher Chris Trotter is bringing in First Nations community members to work with the students on language, instrument making and artwork. Across the classes, students are starting the day with a nature walk and Acknowledgment of Country, and our links with land are being nourished through outdoor play, gardening and landcare. All of these are part of normal life at Aurora… and normal is certainly what we’re celebrating as students return to school!

To our First Nations families and staff members – thank you for all the generous ways that you share your cultures, and thank you for helping all of our school community to build richer understandings of what it means to live in deep relationship with this land. May we journey in partnership for the health and healing of the earth and all living things. Here’s to Ngununggula – walking and working together. 

May 2020