School Program Story by Maria Parenti-Baldey
Anita Heiss, author of 16 books - her latest ‘Our Race For Reconciliation’ covered three main themes during her Year 4 workshop. Students contributed — people they admired, what made a good friend and what things would you say sorry for.
Year 4 shared their heroes and sheroes they admired. That one special person in their life they aspired to. Someone they could learn a lot from and would like to be more like. Some answers included — their Mum, an Uncle - a war veteran, a person who made changes using peace rather than war, football player and Andy Griffiths. Heiss, herself, aspired to author and poet Oodgeroo Noona (aka Kath Walker) of the Noonuccal people, Stradbroke Island. Also author Doris Pilkington Garimara AM, who wrote ‘Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence’ which was later made into the movie ‘Rabbit Proof’. Heiss said of her sheroes she wanted to be a writer like them and write stories for kids to read.
Students answered, ‘What does it mean to be a good friend?’ Again well thought out - be helpful, friendly, offer to help, loyal, look out for each other, treat with respect, be kind, encourage your friends. ‘Don’t be toxic’ was an impressive answer from a 9-year-old. Surrounding yourself with positive friends was healthier instead of those who could ‘suck the life out of you’. Heiss’s friends from Northern Territory AFL ran with her over the line in the 42.2km marathon (further than Ipswich to Brisbane). She had Uluru as her constant companion during the 5hrs 43mins. It was Olympian Gold Medalist Cathy Freeman who inspired Heiss in her first marathon. Students also shared how they’d introduce their friends to others. This is my… friend, best friend, bestie, BFF, mate, buddy and tiddas - Heiss’s female friends were like sisters. You could also have friends who liked different things to you and the same things. One mate may like running, while the other preferred dancing, however, they both could like ice-cream. To support your friend you’d watch them running or dancing. And together you could eat ice-cream at the beach or park etc.,
‘What things would they say sorry for?’ If you hurt someone, pushed them or bullied them. Heiss commended those who could recognise it as bullying and were able to say, ‘I’m sorry for being a bully. ‘To accept a person’s apology makes us feel better, it shows people you respect them. We can move on and forgive. It is a lot like reconciling. It means we’re bringing people back together again. When we’ve had a fight with our brother or sister (or friend), we say sorry… we come back together… we have a reconcile…we have a reunion. It helps people move on.’
Blogging Team 2017