Indigenous Education

St Pius X Primary School, Windale 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 Primary School, Windale we believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures should be recognised, appreciated and celebrated to allow for an education of both historical and contemporary issues.

As a large percentage of our students identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, we aim to immerse ourselves in the rich culture and diversity that their identity brings.

At St Pius X Primary School, Windale we provide opportunities for members of the school community to enhance their appreciation and knowledge of Aboriginal Australia and Aboriginal Spirituality. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education teacher provides additional support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students through their education and assists them in developing their full potential, targeting the Key Learning Areas of Literacy and Numeracy.

We strive to identify, appreciate and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in the community and actively involve them in the education of students and school activities such as Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week celebrations.

The Awabakal People

The name ‘Awabakal’ means people of the plain or flat surface, believed to refer to the surface of Lake Macquarie. 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 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.