Acknowledgement of Country
Matthew Flinders Anglican College was built on the Mooloolah Plains at the foot of Buderim Mountain. It is framed by the tidal Mountain Creek traversing the campus; the Stringybark Trees which give their name to our street; and is visited by the Eastern Grey Kangaroos who are frequent neighbours on the grounds.
The College acknowledges that the Land upon which we work, meet and play is Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi Country, a Land that was never ceded nor sold.
We pay our respects to the Traditional Custodians of the Land, the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi people, to Elders past, present and emerging, recognising the spiritual connection they have with the land, water, sky and sea.
We extend this respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
May we learn from and with them to care for the Land.
Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)
In 2020, the College launched the Matthew Flinders Anglican College RAP. This formal statement recognises Flinders' commitment to forging a meaningful and ongoing relationship with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, and people recognised in their community as Traditional Owners.
By making this commitment, we aim to create a place of teaching and learning that is culturally inclusive, where aspirations are fostered, diversity is acknowledged and genuine conversations about closing the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are ongoing.
Click below to view the Matthew Flinders Anglican College RAP.
Reconciliation Across the College
The Reconciliation Action Plan Committee of students and staff are working to encourage a greater appreciation for the concept of Reconciliation.
In 2022 and 2023, staff and students engaged with Gilimbaa, a creative design agency led by Old Flinderian David Williams, working together to create a ‘bespoke’ artwork that represents the College's past, present and future. Launched in March 2023, the Gilimbaa artwork is titled "Surrounded by our past, united by our future" and created by Wakka Wakka artist and Old Flinderian David Williams. The artwork will be used to help strengthen relationships between First Nations communities and the College.
Other opportunities and activities incorporated into daily College life include the creation of a prayer station in the College Chapel to signify our connection to Country, involvement in the Aunty Betty Memorial Walk with the Sunshine Coast Reconciliation Group and Modern History excursions to Cherbourg’s Ration Shed Museum. These experiences have provided our students with opportunities to engage with Elders and learn more about the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which we gather, grow and learn.
Furthermore, staff were able to access cross cultural awareness and capability training at the staff professional learning conference in Term 3, 2023. And staff and student email signatures are being updated to reflect our identity and connection with Country, educating staff and students about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, beliefs and customs, and creating stronger connections with Elders to live out the values of Reconciliation.
Greater participation of students, via the House Pastoral System, has allowed these, and many other, initiatives to re-shape the culture of our College.
Primary School Reconciliation Journey
The Primary School's i-Impact design thinking curriculum program explicitly teaches empathy, gives students agency and propels them into acts of service to make a genuine difference in the world.
As part of the program, students are exploring Indigenous perspectives whilst demonstrating and practising reconciliation.
In Year 4, students undertake a unit that asks: How can we acknowledge and value local Indigenous culture at Flinders?
To date, the student-led solutions that have been implemented are:
- Embedding an Acknowledgement of Country into everyday teaching, specifically at assemblies and events.
- Displaying Acknowledge of Country signs throughout the campus.
- Collaborating with local Indigenous artist Jandamarra Cadd to create an artwork - featured on our Primary School pencil cases – that encompasses significant Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi landmarks, the journey of First Nations Peoples as well as some personal reflection from students about their own sense of place.
- Incorporating Indigenous games and activities into the Flinders Friends program.
Within the 'Play Promotes Connection' unit, Year 2 students review games throughout history including a focus on Indigenous games. This informs the creation of student's own games which are required to promote connection over competition.
Each year, the Wonderarium celebrates National Reconciliation Week, showcasing a range of Indigenous literature and artefacts for students to explore and experience. These experiences allow learners to reflect on our shared history through student-led inquiry, acknowledging the significance and the importance of reconciliation.
In the Secondary School
The College RAP group has been working since late 2020 on improving the relationships between the student body and the broader community. This commenced with a whole school survey to create an understanding of the student and staff engagement with issues related to First Nations peoples.
The RAP group has explored a series of campaigns to improve the visibility and understanding of key elements of iconography and events.
The group created a College-wide campaign to improve awareness of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags and highlighted the shifting legal status of these flags as items of current affairs.
Students recognised Sorry Day, Mabo Day, 1967 Referendum Day, NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week, putting in place plans to continue to acknowledge these occasions for years to come.
Additionally, the group performed an audit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander themes in the curriculum offerings across the KLAs, and there was a significant shift in the inclusion of these themes in the classrooms as a result of this push.
There has also been improved awareness and understanding of the importance of the Acknowledgement of Country at formal events, and a plan created for the inclusion of Welcome to Country ceremonies at key College events. Members of the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi community were invited to participate in lessons and at pastoral events, strengthening our connection with people and Country.