Our College

Reconciliation Action Plan

Acknowledgement of Country

Jaganyji-nda (Stand please)

Giinagay (Hello)
Waaru Yarrang Ngiinda (Who are you?)
Ngaya Yaam (Names…) (I am…)
Yaam Gumbaynngirr wajaarr (This is Gumbaynggirr land)

As we all gather and stand upon Country, may we acknowledge and respect Gumbaynggirr Land and the thousands of years’ worth of both physical and spiritual connection to Country, culture and teachings embedded forever within these Lands.

As the Custodians of the Land, we become caretakers of the Country. In all its beauty, we see it mothering and supporting us whilst being our school, our health system, our kitchen and most importantly our home. May I ask you to become caretakers of this land, honouring and learning from it.

Jagun ngiyambandi Miimi (Earth our Mother)
Ngarri wagin nyirrnaa (She is very beautiful)
Ngarri-ju jawgarr ngiyaanya maanay (and she carries us)

Baya ngarri nyirrnaa-wa yidaagay (may she always be beautiful)
Ngiinda gadila ngarraanga ngiyambandi wajaarr (You should respect our country)

May we acknowledge the Gumbaynggirr people past, present and emerging as well as the First Nations people of Australia's other originating nations present.

BDC launches 2022/23 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

After an extensive consultative process with students, staff, the BDC community and the Coffs Harbour Gumbaynggirr Indigenous community, the Bishop Druitt College 2022/23 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is now available. 

The objectives of the RAP are to promote recognition, understanding and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their cultures, histories and contributions. 

Since 2018, the college has developed a RAP and is proud to have made significant progress for the college’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) community. Some of these achievements in the last year have included: 

  • Development of a mural for our Yarning Circle, with local elder Aunty Buchanan and the Goori Group students.
  • Continued recognition and participation in Aboriginal Events of Significance including  Sorry Day, Mabo Day and NAIDOC Week, and we were able to welcome parents to campus to celebrate with us. 
  • Support for many ATSI families with increased support for scholarships for 2023 and beyond, and increased staffing resources for our Aboriginal Education Officer, Gloria Mercy. 
  • Development of a customised school Acknowledgement of Country co-authored by Goori Group student leaders and our Gumbaynggirr language teacher, which our students of all backgrounds embrace at each and every assembly, ceremony and event within the school. 

“On behalf of the college, I wish to sincerely thank all of those who were involved in delivering on our 2021/22 RAP outcomes, and for those who were involved in the development of next year’s strategy - including students, parents, staff and members of the Gumbaynggirr community”, said Mr Nick Johnstone. 

Staff, students and community members involved in the development of the 2022/23 RAP were invited to attend a morning tea at the school on Tuesday 9 August, which marked the United Nations International Day of Indigenous Peoples. The morning tea included a selection of local indigenous produce, and included an Acknowledgement of Country by Year 11 student and 2022-3 Service Captain, Jenna Haley, delivered in the Gumbaynggirr language. 

Jenna was also part of the Indigenous student group who were invited to participate in the development of the 2022/23 RAP. The group also included Darcie McInally and Charlie Knight. 

Jenna says of her involvement: 

“As a young proud indigenous woman, with high involvement in the schools Goori Group, as well as being a part of the 2022-2023 leadership team, I believe the Reconciliation Action Plan is an important program for members of the community including, students, families, staff and the broader community to have their say in the way to restore and respect Indigenous culture within BDC. 

“I’m honoured to say that I’ve been a part of the progress and achievements that have been made, with many more exciting opportunities approaching through the work of the RAP. I look forward to the future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and families within the BDC community.”

The 2022/23 RAP includes a number of new initiatives within the college and greater Coffs Harbour indigenous communities, including: 

  • Participation in the AISNSW Indigenous opportunity program, The Waratah Project, which aims to develop students as future leaders in their communities, and set higher expectations for themselves through literacy and numeracy outcomes. 
  • Inclusion of the school’s own Acknowledgement of Country in clear view on the BDC campus, and the ongoing improvement of campus bi-lingual signage. 
  • Mentoring and career development opportunities with our ATSI alumni and local business partnerships. 
  • The development of a student-led cultural awareness video to share with all students and the greater BDC community. 
  • The extension of the school uniform in 2023 to include a prominent indigenous design, for all students. 
  • Continued showcasing of ATSI National Events of Significance, and where possible, including local elders and parents and carers in these events. 

For any feedback or questions, please contact secretary@bdc.nsw.edu.au