Peninsula Community of Schools

Kindergarten to Year 12 and beyond

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Wheeler Heights Public School

The inspiration behind Year 6 National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) collaborative artwork is the 'Tree of Life'.

We discussed the importance of women in our families, communities and country. We completed some research about the significance of Indigenous women in their families and communities.

This is the information that we discovered.

For Aboriginal women the foundation for all levels of their leadership is 'community'.

Jackie Huggins AM (Indigenous Women and leadership: A Personal Reflection, 2004, v 1) writes that only Aboriginal women who 'truly have the interests of our community at heart' can call themselves leaders.

Reconciliation Australia (Reconciliation Australia, 2007, v 4) identifies 'family identities and relationships to "country" as ''the heart'' of Aboriginal communities: they are a 'constellation of individuals, families, clans, ceremonial groups and language groups'.

Linked by shifting 'complex, layered, sometimes fluid and unbounded sets of affiliation', they include 'geographically discrete settlements' and 'dispersed communities of shared identity'.

So we looked for inspiration in artworks and decided to create the ‘Tree of Life'. This collaborative artwork began with a Year 6 boy drawing the tree. Then a group of Year 6 girls painted the tree.

All students of Year 6 created their own leaf, telling a personal story about the importance of family. All students from 6O created their own blossom, representing their personal journeys.

All our artwork was inspired by Aboriginal story telling. Some people used these symbols within their artworks.

  • The sequence stick (man) horseshoe (women) and circle = child.

  • Altogether Sequence represents family (family, community, tribe).

For more information download the Wheeler Heights Public School art (PDF 779KB) document.