CEWA embraces Aboriginal knowledge during Kaartdijin Week

Lawyer, and campaigner Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman Teela Reid presented the 2019 Kaartdijin Week Keynote at the Catholic Education Centre in Leederville this week, arguing the case for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament and taking questions from an audience of CEWA staff members. 

Ms Reid, who has been recognised for her advocacy and leadership by Harvard University, was a youth delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and was the first Aboriginal person elected Vice-President (Social Justice) of the UNSW Law Society, shared her first-hand insights into  the National Constitutional Convention process that produced the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart. 

Ms Reid’s presentation was the first keynote in the program for CEWA’s Kaartdijin Week, an event now in its third year. 

Kaartdijin Week (kaartdijin means knowledge in Noongar) gives Perth-based staff members opportunities to revisit the theme of NAIDOC Week, which falls in the school holidays each year, engage with Aboriginal histories and cultures, and support the work of the Aboriginal Education Team and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. 

Another highlight in the 2019 Kaartdijin Week program was a hands-on exploration of native plants used in cooking and medicine with Les Oakley from 2Deadly Food and Fitness. 

Mr Oakley, who has run workshops with four CEWA schools and colleges so far, captivated his audience with tastings of dishes created with indigenous ingredients including marlu (kangaroo) skewers and slow-cooked tail, pavlova with bush fruits, pickled kakadu plums, and damper with smoked paperbark oil and native-spice dukkah.

The main fundraising effort for the week was the Great Book Swap, back for the third year, which saw some great reading material finding new owners. The Catholic Library team added an element of fun to the event with their ‘mystery reads’, which they selected and wrapped, with select clues provided on the labels. 

All funds raised through donations for the book swap and 2Deadly Food workshop will go to support the work of the Inidigenous Literacy Foundation, who advocate for equitable access to literacy resources for remote Aboriginal communities.

Watch the Teela Reid Keynote on Stream here

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