Loreto Normanhurst’s commitment to First Nations Education originates in our core purpose, which is to respond to the Mission and Vision of the IBVM and apply these values and principles in all areas, including justice for Australia's First Nations Peoples.
First Nations Program
A commitment to First Nations Education
Our mission is to bring the gospel to life by our own witness and by supporting the spiritual development of individuals and communities. We promote a freedom of referring all to God through spiritual ministries, education, and any other works which meet the needs of our times...
As a Loreto school, we must respond to these Calls and integrate them into our own Mission in relation to every aspect of learning and growth of the person.
In response to this call, our curriculum has evolved to develop in all our students an understanding of First Nations cultures, histories and communities through experiences, education and relationships.
In 2005, the first two-week Far North Queensland Experience for Year 9 students was implemented. This 'Outreach' Program has the theme 'Caring for Country, Walking Beside', and incorporates active engagement in the Yarrabah community.
We have remained committed to embedding enriching experiences that deepen our understanding of First Nation’s culture and offer students two additional opportunities.
The Songlines Experience is a 5-day program embedded into the Year 8 holistic curriculum. This experience provides an opportunity to explore the local Aboriginal Country around Loreto Normanhurst in conjunction with local Aboriginal women and on Country experiences at Gibberagong, Muogamurra and Walkabout Wildlife Park.
Students in Year 10 have an optional experience to forge connections with First Nations People living on their ancestral lands. Students walk alongside Elders and Traditional Owners to gain profound insights into their rich cultural heritage and traditions.
These experiences assist in making sense of and humanising key First Nations national issues, bringing to the foreground a focus on The Apology to the Stolen Generation, the National Close the Gap Campaign Uluru Statement of the Heart, Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week and all that these mean in the deep sense of justice for Australia’s First Nations Peoples.
Loreto Normanhurst is proud to offer a dedicated First Nations Program to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from across Australia.
Indigenous Scholarship Program
Loreto Normanhurst offers scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students so they may have a greater educational opportunity than perhaps is available in their own community.
These students are from communities from all over Australia: Broome, Darwin, Bourke and other parts of NSW. The School works in partnership with the students’ families and communities so they remain connected to their community in a relevant and respectful way. This program is supported by generous donations to the School’s Indigenous Scholarship Fund and in its partnership with the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF).
The aims of the program
- Strengthen and nurture First Nation’s students’ cultural knowledge, understanding and identity
- Maintain a commitment to Reconciliation
- Celebrate First Nation’s culture and enhance cultural competence within the Loreto Normanhurst community
- Support First Nation’s students to enhance their learning and pastoral care needs
- Improve educational outcomes for First Nation’s students
- Foster relationships between the School, families and communities and partner with them to enhance the holistic growth of our First Nation’s students
- Provide opportunities to connect with Country and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
Strengthen and nurture First Nation’s students’ cultural knowledge, understanding and identity
Maintain a commitment to Reconciliation
Celebrate First Nation’s culture and enhance cultural competence within the Loreto Normanhurst community
Support First Nation’s students to enhance their learning and pastoral care needs
Improve educational outcomes for First Nation’s students
Foster relationships between the School, families and communities and partner with them to enhance the holistic growth of our First Nation’s students
Provide opportunities to connect with Country and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
For our entire Loreto Community, the First Nations Program:
- In line with our Strategic Plan, supports the development of a diverse community of young women, who grow in empathy for others, build dialogue by sharing perspective and story, and are prepared to contribute to a future Australia and inter-connected world.
- Ensures that, as a community, we are culturally sensitive and better educated than ever before about First Nations issues, driving authenticity and action in the area of justice for First Nations peoples.