Stepping into NAIDOC celebrations

Asset Publisher

09 July 2024

Events and initiatives Public school life

River Valley Primary School students have put their art and paving skills to the test for their NAIDOC Week, handmaking 77 stepping stones.

NAIDOC Week runs from 7 July to 14 July and is an opportunity for the community to celebrate and learn about First Nations culture and history.

River Valley Primary School students made stepping stones to represent the school logo.

Carly Hernaman, principal of River Valley Primary School, said the idea for the project came from a discussion with the students about what they would like to see and do at the school. The ideas included making a rainbow snake, or steppers for the garden in the shape of hills, sun and a river. 

“As a result, staff discussed combining the students’ ideas to create artworks, reflecting the symbols and stories of the Noongar culture,” she said. 

With the help of staff, students mixed water with mortar and colouring, before placing the mixture in a hexagon mould where it cured for 28 days. 

The first design represents the River Valley Primary School logo, using the different colours to depict the hills, river, and sun.  

The second design featured yellow stones in the shape of the Noongar symbol, a djinda (star) and meeuk (moon), both laid above the Waugal (rainbow snake).

Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 helped make the new artwork.

 Mrs Hernaman said it was essential for students to learn about Aboriginal culture and history, saying it was an ambitious project, but it turned out great. 

“I am so proud of all our students, from Kindergarten to Year 6, and their hard work, passion and excitement for the project,” she said. 

“It is wonderful that, as we complete each student-driven project, a little part of each of them will be embedded in the school, a memory they can take with them and a memory the school nurtures, for years to come.” 

Year 6 student leader Amity said she liked making the stones and it was satisfying turning them out of the mould to reveal the final design. 

“We are really proud that we are actively making our school environment more appealing and inclusive to all students, while also leaving our work as a memory for others,” she said. 

“As a school, we like to include all cultures. It is important to acknowledge the aboriginal culture and the importance it plays in our history.” 

You can find out more about NAIDOC Week on their website.