The MC for the day was Year 12 student Lachie, and after welcoming everyone he spoke about the 2019 NAIDOC theme, Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future. Below is an introduction from the NAIDOC website:

'Voice. Treaty. Truth. were three key elements to the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. These reforms represent the unified position of First Nations Australians.

National NAIDOC Co-Chair Pat Thompson says that for generations, Indigenous Australians have sought recognition of their unique place in Australian history and society today.

“For generations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have looked for significant and lasting change. We need our fellow Australians to join us on this journey – to finish the unfinished business of this country.”

“The 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart built on generations of consultation and discussions among Indigenous people - we need to be the architects of our lives and futures,” she concluded.

National NAIDOC Co Chair John Paul Janke believes 2019 is also a unique opportunity to hear this nation’s Indigenous voice with the year being celebrated as the UN’s International Year of Indigenous Languages.

“It’s time for our knowledge to be heard through our voice. – an Indigenous voice of this country that is over 65,000 plus years old.”

“They are the first words spoken on this continent. Languages that passed down lore, culture and knowledge for over millennia.”

“They are precious to our nation and need to be celebrated but it’s our voice that needs to be listened too,” he said.

The 2019 theme acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have always wanted an enhanced role in decision-making in Australia’s democracy.

The theme also aims at highlighting our various First Nations’ desires for lasting and effective agreements such as Treaties- which cannot be achieved unless we have a shared, truthful understanding of the nature of the dispute, of the history, of how we got to where we stand.

“The history of our First Peoples is the history of all of us, of all of Australia, and we need to own it - hearing this history is necessary before we can come to some true reconciliation, some genuine healing for both sides.”

“Then we can move forward together.”

“So, Let’s work together for a shared future,” the Co-Chairs concluded.

Trinity College Old Boy Ben McGuire (’17) gave the Welcome to Country, and the College heard from guest speaker Connor Brahim (’15). Connor has recently completed his training at the Western Australian Police Academy and is now a cadet at the Gosnells Station. Connor talked about his journey since leaving Trinity and what inspired him to join the police force. In closing, he advised students to be thoughtful in their decision making and to take time to explore different options before deciding on a career path.

College Principal, Mr O’Neill, also addressed the assembly and discussed how the 2019 NAIDOC theme ties into one of the College’s four touchstones — Inclusive Community. In his address, he spoke about how proud he is of the way students and staff embrace diversity and make the College a safe place where everyone is known and belongs.

The performances that followed were the highlight of the day! The Year 7-10 Indigenous students performed on the Didgeridoo and beat box, followed by a performance from Year 10 student Rory and his cultural group. Trinity College band Diversity performed their original song, ‘Stop this Wave’, written by Year 10 student Nehemiah. Lastly, the Aboriginal dance group performed, which included students from all year levels, including Junior School students.

For the first time in our NAIDOC celebrations, a sand mural was created outside of the Sports Centre to celebrate our Indigenous students and the regions they come from. 

Ten of our Indigenous students created a beautiful mural outside of the Sports Centre. Each circle in the mural represents the regions and land of their homes, and each of the boys incorporated symbols to represent their lands, animals, waterways and spirits.

The Trinity crowns show the connection between the College community and their lands. The colours used in the mural are representative of the following:

Orange: the Kimberley (kakardi) boab tree and the owl 
Brown: the Wangi Marlu
Red: the Pilbara bungara
Yellow: the Yamatji yellow biddi 
Blue: the Tiwi and Coori (turtle) kendabal
Black: the Nyoongar (snake) Waagal

The students are proud to have created this on their own, with some assistance from Trinity family members Jeffrey Farrell Sr and Norman Hansen. A big thank you also goes out to the Trinity Grounds Staff for helping to make this possible!