At Fairview Heights State School, students who identify as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander have the unique opportunity to join a school-based program focussing on cultural awareness and belonging. At our school, the name of this program is The Deadly Ones program. In the past, Deadly Ones participants have visited Cully Fest at the Toowoomba Showgrounds, hosted a school-based NAIDOC Art Show and invited a guest presenter and dancer Don Nikkelson to perform for our students. Each year we present a dedicated "Deadly Ones" Award at our Year 6 Awards evening.
This year the Deadly Ones Program sessions are on Thursdays 9:30-10:30am with Ms Greer. This term our participants have been participating in 'Tucker Time' which is an innovative program that has been developed based on grass-roots principles and strategies to deliver a comprehensive health, wellbeing and nutritional cooking program for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people of all ages.
Participants meet in small groups and each group meets once a week for about six weeks. In this time we discuss and enhance many indigenous perspectives in our school community, notably: what being indigenous means to our students; building children's identities and exploring their indigenous backgrounds; promoting a sense of belonging in our indigenous community within the school; recognising and developing a deeper respect for themselves and others; investigating ways that the children can feel strong in their culture, and providing opportunities for the children to practise being an advocate for indigenous culture in our school.
We are excited that a large percentage of our students with indigenous backgrounds will be part of the FHSS Deadly Ones program this year. There are three classes planned so that we can keep the participants in small family groupings. Although the actual Deadly Ones program of lessons is relatively short-term, the beliefs, concepts and practices that are introduced and explored during these sessions should enhance everyday relationships, learning skills and coping strategies for the children to use in their classrooms and the wider community.