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Aboriginal Education

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Aboriginal Education

We acknowledge that the land upon which St Bede’s stands today is, was, and always will be, the traditional land of the Wonnarua people. St Bede’s would like to pay respect to the original custodians of this land and acknowledge the memory of their ancestors. May we continue to walk gently on this ancient land, celebrating the continuous living culture of Aboriginal people in this area.

At St Bede’s, we believe cultural knowledge and our personal histories are invaluable resources in promoting a greater understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their histories, culture, spirituality and languages.

The teachers and staff at St Bede’s are committed to actively strengthening relationships with our Aboriginal families and the local community. We look for opportunities to encourage family and community involvement in assisting staff and students to enhance cultural awareness and knowledge, developing confidence and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

As a united community we can journey towards a brighter future where Reconciliation and acknowledgment comes from a deeper understanding of country and the Dreaming. St Bede’s aims to enhance this understanding by providing culturally inclusive curricula that respects traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture, appropriate protocols and spirituality and Aboriginal history.

Aboriginal Education Team

Karen Chapman 

Wallawani, I’m Karen, the Aboriginal Education Teacher here at St Bede’s and a proud Aboriginal woman. My mob hails from Yuin country, on the NSW South Coast. Over the years I have been fortunate to make my home on many Nations within NSW, including Darkinjung country on the Central Coast. I now live in the Newcastle area on Awabakal country.

I feel very fortunate to have joined the St Bede’s community at the beginning of 2020, where we continue to embed Aboriginal education into our schools’ core business, making it more visible to all.

I am at St Bede’s fulltime, working with Indigenous students to enhance academic performance and cultural knowledge. I also work with staff, incorporating Indigenous perspectives into the whole school curriculum, to ensure all students develop an awareness and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Our Aboriginal Education Team continue to be involved with local community, by connecting with Maitland AECG. Currently I am the Regional Delegate. Parents and friends are always welcome at meetings. Please reach out for further information or click on the link at the bottom of the page.

To contact me, please email

Monique Crick 


My name is Monique, and I am the Aboriginal Education Support Officer here at St Bede’s Catholic College. I was born and raised on Eora and Darug land and now live on Wonnarua Country with my two children. I am currently doing further research into my family tree to find out more about where my Aboriginal heritage comes from.  

I feel blessed to have been a part of the St Bede’s community from the beginning, and I love my work in Aboriginal Education Support. I am proud of our growing school and I see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as my mob, my family. You can find me at St Bede’s Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays each week, assisting our students to achieve their best in the classroom and supporting families. 

I am currently Secretary for Maitland local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) and love connecting to other community members to enhance my knowledge and to continue to learn ways I can best facilitate my role here at St Bede’s. 

To contact me, please email

Prayer of the Aboriginal People

Father of all, you gave us the Dreaming

You have spoken to us through our beliefs

You then made your love clear to us in the person of Jesus

We thank you for your care

You own us

You are our hope

Make us strong as we face the problems of change

We ask you to help the people of Australia to listen to us and respect our culture

Make the knowledge of you grow strong in all people

So that you can be at home in us and we can make a home for everyone in our land.


Prayer composed for the meeting between Pope John Paul II and the Aboriginal people


Calendar of Important Dates

13th February 

National Anniversary of the Apology (given by Kevin Rudd)

21st March

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Harmony Day

26th March 

National Sorry Day

27th May

Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum 

27th May- 3rd June 

National Reconciliation Week 

3rd June

Mabo Day 

4th - 11th July


13th July 1971

The Aboriginal flag, designed by Harold Thomas, is first flown in Adelaide

28th July 1902

Central Australian artist Albert Namatjira is born

4th August 

Aboriginal's Children's Day 

9th August 

International Day of the World's Indigenous People.

5th September

Indigenous Literacy Day 

13th September

Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

25th September 2000

Cathy Freeman wins gold in the 400m at the Sydney Olympics

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