Gapuwiyak School celebrates its 6th cultural festival


Each school term, the staff and students of Gapuwiyak School join the wider community to celebrate different aspects of Yolngu culture.

The focus of a recent three-day cultural festival, organized and facilitated by Yolngu staff, was on traditional play using Aboriginal children’s toys and games.

Principal Clarice O’Leary said: “Students and families, from FaFT to Year 12, participated in traditional Aboriginal children’s activities, comprising string games, making trucka toys, and time-honoured hunting games such as spear production and target practice.

“Students also used clay to make models, produced whirly games, blankets to keep warm, Pandanus bark to make sleeping bags (pictured,) and learnt about totem signs and making tracks in sand.

“Children value the opportunity to learn about the games and traditions that were part of their grandparents’ lives.”

A 2017 observance of Yolngu Rom, comprising the laws, values, beliefs, religion, songs, language and communication of the Yolngu people, was attended by about 500 people at Gapuwiyak.

The intergenerational Yolngu Rom links intimately with Raypirri – respect for people, culture, the land and the environment.

Pandanas sleeping bag

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