13 August, 2021
Gilgandra local, Peter Mackay, is the driving force behind the Ngiyampaa Wayilwan Unearthed: Our Place initiative at Warren Central School.
“The initiative was started because the school and community identified a need to rediscover, unearth and grow Wayilwan culture and language in the school community,” said Mr Mackay.
Our Place is a wellbeing program inclusive of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students at Warren Central school. The program aims to include action for reconciliation both in the school and the community, providing students with a sense of place and belonging, and rediscovering Wayilwan heritage and culture.
Developed in collaboration with the Warren Local Aboriginal Land Council (WLALC), the Warren Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG), Aboriginal community members, as well as the executive and staff at Warren Central School, it was a real team effort to bring to life.
“It was Peter’s idea to call the program Our Place and we asked the Land Council and local Wayilwan elders and they agreed it was a great name. We also call it Ngiyampaa Wayilwan Unearthed,” said Chaplain and Aboriginal Learning and Engagement Coordinator at Warren Central School, Karlene Irving.
All programs under the Our Place umbrella provide opportunities for students to develop their capacity for collaborative team building, leadership, community engagement and critical thinking.
Some of the key outcomes of the Our Place program for students include improved attendance, improved self-esteem, reduced anxiety, and improved communication skills.
Peter Mackay has been integral to the success of Our Place which began in term 4, 2020, when Peter was first employed at Warren Central School as an Aboriginal Education Officer.