Bega High School (BHS) is a comprehensive rural high school on the far south coast of NSW.
The school’s geographical drawing area ranges from Tathra (15 kilometres to the east), Cobargo (40 kilometres to the north), through to Wolumla (20 kilometres to the south) and Bemboka (40 kilometres to the west). In 2014 the maximum enrolment was 871 students, including 10% Aboriginal students.
The school has included Aboriginal Education into each Key Learning Area. Activities are designed to educate all students about Aboriginal histories, cultures, perspectives and Aboriginal Australia, and has included:
- food technology students learning about the preparation and serving of bush tucker foods
- music students attending performances by Aboriginal musicians
- students participating in Traditional Indigenous Games with students from primary schools
- students in Special Education classes working with an Aboriginal artist to produce individual artworks as well as decorative panels and learning artistic techniques and the significance of traditional techniques and symbols
- science students interpreting the night sky with a Dreaming perspective.
The Bega Indigenous Youth Project is an example of the range of possibilities created through the successful collaborative efforts of the school, the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG), Aboriginal community elders, and government and non-government agencies. In a culmination of the first year’s partnership, Real Communities and Club Bega hosted a breakfast meeting in November. The event showcased the value of parents, school staff, businesses and support agencies working together in creating and expanding learning pathways for 21st century learners in around the Bega Valley. The experience and success of past and present students, such as Kirsten Carter, Dillon Aldridge, Kelsey Lane, Jacob Francis, and Shae and Blake Horcicka-Moore, in combining school courses and on-the-job training were celebrated at the breakfast. It was also an opportunity to make more links within our community to provide sustainable strategies and programs in closing the gap of educational advantage and prosperity for Aboriginal students and future community leaders.
Terms 1 and 2 of 2015 have seen new developments in Aboriginal Education. This has included the establishment of a ‘breakaway group’ for girls, the creation of an indigenous garden, a language program in conjunction with Tathra Public School, the formation of a Junior AECG, a new format for NAIDOC celebrations and a visit by the Bangarra Dance Troupe. These are explained in greater detail in the pages to follow.
Contributed by Bega High School published in 2015.