St Pius X recognises the traditional inhabitants of the land on which our school is built, the Awabakal people.
“Catholic Schools are committed to the creation of communities characterised by acceptance, security, justice, happiness and an environment of growth” (Diocesan Vision Statement). At St. Pius X Windale we believe that Indigenous cultures should be recognised, appreciated and celebrated to allow for an education of both historical and contemporary issues. A large percentage of our students identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander which allows us to immerse ourselves in the rich culture and diversity that they bring.
At St. Pius X we provide opportunities for members of the school community to enhance their appreciation and knowledge of Aboriginal Australia and Aboriginal spirituality. We support Indigenous students through their education and assist them in developing their full potential. We strive to identify, appreciate and respect Aboriginal families in the community and actively involve them in the education of students and school activities. NAIDOC activities are held on an annual basis and the school involves itself with the local community in supporting Aboriginal education. Our links with the Centre For Hope has proved highly successful in supporting our young indigenous students.
THE AWABAKAL PEOPLE
The name 'Awabakal' means people of the plain or flat surface, believed to refer to the surface of Lake Maquarie. From the observations of the Reverend Threlkeld, it is understood that the Awabakal Tribe lived around Lake Macquarie.
Aboriginal people believe there is no separation between the health of the land and the health of the people. They have long known that to care for the environment is to care for all the living things; that all life is part of the enormous network of relationships that were created by the Great Spirit ancestors of the Dreaming.
The territory of the Awabakal people was believed to extend from the Hunter River to the southern extremities of Lake Macquarie or the Tuggerah Lake in the south. The western boundary was the Sugarloaf Range and the Watagan Mountains. It should be noted that boundaries were not defined lines as on modern maps, but elastic and rather more fluid with communication and interaction between neighbouring clans and tribes. There are four tribal areas shown on maps that appear to converge on the Hunter River around the contemporary city of Maitland. These tribes are the Darkinung, Wanarua, Worimi and Awabakal.
The Awabakal tribe consisted of four clans, all of which had an area within the tribal territory considered theirs to use in their search for food and to gather raw materials for technologies. The four clans were; Pambalong (or Swamp District), Ash Island, Kurungbong and Lake Macquarie.
The clans came together on social and ceremonial occasions. On a daily basis they respected territorial boundaries.