Eidsvold school nominated for Reconciliation Award
A SCHOOL's efforts in reclaiming its local indigenous language by incorporating it in the curriculum has earned it a nomination in the 2019 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.
Eidsvold State School overcame a lack of fluent Wakka Wakka speakers in the area to establish the now flourishing program, which involved setting up a languages reference group, hiring a linguist to maintain integrity within the program, and employing two Wakka Wakka teacher aides.
Principal Preston Parter said the program was now delivered in all classes from Prep to Year 12.
"The elders and community language group were adamant that they wanted all students to learn the language,” Mr Parter said.
"We are very lucky to have the support of our community to deliver our local language.
"We are also very lucky to have a dedicated staff that develop and deliver the program to the highest standard.”
From a limited bank of words in the early days of the program, students are now beginning to converse in Wakka Wakka using short phrases, both at school and in the community.
Mr Parter said this success, part of the wider Yumbin (Wakka Wakka for 'everyone') program the school had implemented, was closely linked to an upswing in community engagement at the school.
"Language is able to bring both indigenous and non-indigenous people together,” Mr Parter said.
"It has the power to give everyone connection to the land.
"Since the implementation of the Wakka Wakka language program we have seen a drastic increase in our community's ability to work together, particularly within the school.”
Queensland Reconciliation Award winners will be announced at a ceremony during National Reconciliation Week, May 27-June 3, and $25,000 in prizemoney will be shared between the five award categories.
Eidsvold State School has been nominated in the Education category.