The community of St Michael’s Grammar School would like to acknowledge the Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation as Traditional Custodians of the lands on which our School stands. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Australia’s First Peoples. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have never ceded sovereignty and are the original custodians of shared knowledge and leadership, and from whom we still have so much to learn.
St Michael’s Grammar School is committed to strategically and practically building a culture which acknowledges, affirms and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and traditions. The formation of our Reconciliation Action Plan represents this commitment.
Inspired by the Anglican tradition of the Community of the Sisters of the Church, St Michael’s has held at its core a commitment to be inclusive of all who hold preeminent the values of Dignity, Care, Respect and Compassion. Our vision for reconciliation has also enriched our understanding of how our core values can better live within our School community. To this end, we want our staff, students and families to increase their understanding, value and active recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories, knowledge and rights through respectful cultural learning, experiences and connections.
Our Strategic Direction: Towards 2030 is centred around the organising principles From, With and For, which enables us to create a learning ecosystem that nourishes, sustains and grows our efforts and contributions towards reconciliation.
Our vision is for students to learn From Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, With their peers, staff and the wider community, For the enduring purpose and benefits of a just, equitable and reconciled Australia. Students will gain the wisdom to walk alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, committed to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
This commitment to reconciliation supports the agency, voice, and self-determination that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have sought and expressed through the Uluru Statement from the Heart and Imagination Declaration.
In 2021, we launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), where we formally committed to promoting an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities, cultures, histories, heritage and aspirations.
After 12 months, organisations that have a RAP are asked to update and review the contents to ensure the RAP has purpose and meaningful actions. St Michael’s second iteration of the RAP was approved by Reconciliation Australia in December 2022.
The main actions added to the RAP were first, the commitment to local sites, events and excursions – St Michael’s commits to supporting visits by our staff and students to appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sites, attend significant local events and explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in excursions. We have embedded these actions across the School, including incorporating them into our experiential learning program.
Secondly, we are committed to supporting teachers to embed the Australian Curriculum ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures’ cross-curriculum priorities within our Teaching, Learning and Caring Framework. This includes embedding ongoing cultural awareness professional learning opportunities for staff.
And finally, we are creating a RAP specific budget allocation to strengthen the sustainability of our RAP actions and demonstrate St Michael’s commitment to reconciliation through allocation of resources.
We now have 28 actions, which have increased from 24 in 2021 – In the RAP, the School has committed to achieving 24 new targets which span across Narragunnawali’s three categories: Relationships, Respect and Opportunities.
St Michael’s is committed to the cultural safety of First Nations’ children. Our staff and volunteers are committed to encouraging and supporting all children to express their culture, and enjoy their cultural rights. We actively support and facilitate the participation and inclusion of First Nations’ children and their families within our community. We acknowledge and appreciate the strengths of First Nations’ cultures and understand their importance to the wellbeing and safety of children and young people.