Milkwood Steiner School acknowledges the privilege of growing a school on Larrakia land. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded by Larrakia or other Australian Indigenous Nations, and that we teach, learn and grow in this colonial context. This involves acknowledging the harm that has been done to Indigenous people through the violence of colonization; and also, the incredible resilience, strength and healing that Indigenous people have demonstrated in the face of adversity. In accepting the task of growing a school on Larrakia land, we acknowledge our responsibility for truth-telling and restoration through our teaching practices, and our wish to create a culturally enriching and nourishing school that contributes to healing.
From a teaching and learning perspective, this acknowledgement comes with the responsibility of deep listening to Indigenous people and country, and a commitment to continuous learning about how to be good ancestors to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and future generations who we care for.
Milkwood Steiner School’s Strategic Plan documents a wish to work alongside and learn from Traditional Owners, to adapt Steiner Education to this time and place. In doing so, we seek to embed Traditional Knowledge into all areas of curriculum. As best practice, this is achieved by creating space for Indigenous teachers and elders to lead this learning. Some recent examples of this learning include:
- Annual Smoking Ceremony (Duwun Lee)
- Flag Raising Ceremony (Class 6)
- Larrakia Night Sky dreaming project (Duwun Lee)
- Yolngu Fish Trap Technology in STEAM curriculum (Laurie Baymarawanga)
- Miyapunu songline: voice, yidaki and dance (Guwanbal Gurruwiwi and Rose Laynbalaynba)
- Mayilema festival
- Wititj Rainbow Serpent Painting (Guwanbal Gurruwiwi)
- Kriol Songwriting and the Arafura Pearl (Ali Mills)
- Witladla (June Mills)
- Adult Education: Larrakia Nation Cultural Competency Training (Jeanneen McLennan, Donna Jackson)
- Natural Resource Management ‘Next Generation’ Award finalists for working with Indigneous mapping, and traditional land and sea management learning with Guwanbal Gurruwiwi
In 2021, Milkwood Steiner School granted permission by Larrakia elder, Duwun Lee, to operate as a school on Larrakia land. Milkwood Steiner School was given the Larrakia name, Djandjag (Milkwood Tree).