Katherine High School staff and students gathered today at lunchtime to celebrate Reconciliation Week.
Events are being held across Australia from today until next Wednesday to breed cultural exchange and respect among all Australians.
The week also seeks to build awareness of Australia's discriminatory past by commemorating the 1967 referendum giving Indigenous Australians equal status in our constitution.
For Year Nine student Lathen Anderson, the day holds special significance to him and his family.
"Reconciliation Day mainly makes me feel sad for the past, but it also does make me feel proud," he said.
"One of our family were taken as part of the stolen generation, he was my Dad's brother in-law so i called him Uncle.
"All the elders have been speaking with us about the stolen generation leading up to this week, teaching us about our history.
"To have a day like this at school makes all the Torres Strait island and Aboriginal community think about themselves and the stolen generation so I feel good today," Lathen said.
Banners made by students were hung in the common area and teacher Kaltie Tabuai spoke about the significance of the day.
Students were asked to form a circle during his speech to signify unity and inclusion.
Mr Tabuai is himself of Indigenous heritage from the Torres Strait islands, and said improving the circumstances for Indigenous people is the reason he got into teaching.
"The struggles I witnessed my Father's generation go through back home, I don't want to see for my children," he said.
"We've expanded our Reconciliation Day event significantly this year, and we hope going forward the kids themselves will take more control over it and lead the day.
"They all have a sense of belief, but they have to value it and that means we have to show them recognition for that.
"We're giving them that sense of belonging where they know they have ownership over these lands, so then they can welcome others into the community from a position of self-esteem.
"If they don't know who they are then they're lost," Mr Tabuai said.
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