At Sacred Heart, around a third of our students identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. We have a strong staff of Aboriginal people and allies. Our School has an excellent Aboriginal cultural program and our 10 acres of beautiful bushland property provides many opportunities for sustainability programs and learning through play experiences. Our students and staff are passionate about learning from community members, cultural leaders, and elders: past, present and emerging. We spend time integrating Aboriginal perspectives into the curriculum, bringing in traditional knowledge holders and practitioners, and making space for truth-telling about our shared history.
We are committed to providing quality learning experiences about histories, culture and traditions through the curriculum and cross-curricular priorities. We also want to do more to create space for the building and sharing of connections, knowledge and skills prioritised by our students and our community. To do this, we need to make space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student voices and student-led initiatives to take precedence.
Our Aboriginal Camp Site:
Sacred Heart has had a long and proud tradition of respecting, connecting with and learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. We know that the story of our First Nation people is our story, every Tasmanian’s story, and we value it and celebrate it. Long ago, our traditional campsite was a small dam. The dam was filled in and became part of the ‘bush’ once more. With Aboriginal elder, Leigh Oates, who worked with students at Sacred Heart for many years, we decided to build a traditional campsite. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students worked together to create the central fire for cooking and storytelling as well as some bark huts and a lean-to shelter. Over the years, more students added to the campsite, contributing artworks, planting bush foods and medicines and maintaining and reconstructing some of the huts.  The campsite has become a central part of what’s important at Sacred Heart. It is a place to play, learn, think, reflect, teach, relax and have fun. It tells visitors to our school that First Nations culture is part of all we do, it is just who we are, a community that is welcoming, inclusive and respectful to all.

First Nations Ministers

We were proud to welcome our inaugural First Nations Ministers to our Parliament in 2022.

Here are some quotes from current Year 5/6 students who have put themselves forward to be elected as First Nations Ministers for 2023. Why should we have First Nations Ministers? What motivated you to put yourself forward? What does it mean to be an Aboriginal leader in our school?

  • I want to be with the culture that I am from and we can learn about our own culture
  • listening to our ancestors
  • I like helping our little kids learn about culture
  • Aboriginal people should have a voice in our parliament
  • helps us learn more about Aboriginal culture
  • I want little people to learn about culture
  • We can lead by showing others about the Aboriginal stuff in the bush
  • Set a good example about caring for our Aboriginal campsite and things around
  • Being yourself
  • Being a good role model, showing others how to care for our trees and bush and animals
  • Even if we don't have an official role we can still be leaders
  • We want to be part of the decision making
  • Being safe, positive, respectful
  • Have to be inclusive.  

On Country

We are lucky to have such incredible bushland at Sacred Heart. Children are passionate and feel deep connections to this country. Multiple times throughout the year we have whole school bush days focused on learning more about Aboriginal culture. Each class group is responsible for organising a cultural activity for everyone to enjoy. Students can visit any of the activities for any duration, or they could simply play on country which has led to archaeological digging, mud play and hut-making. Classes focus on activities such as:

  • Exploring the meanings behind the Aboriginal flag colours through different materials and creating mobiles to display in our bushland.
  • Exploring natural materials, such as ochre.
  • Play with clapsticks
  • Discussions of the importance and lost meaning of Aboriginal symbols from colonisation.
  • Sharing of Aboriginal stories
  • Traditional games
  • Weaving

Students from across the school play and share culture together. Students are provided with many opportunities to experience various types of Country outside of school.


Aboriginal Family Camp

Each year first nations famillies are invited to attend a camp on murrayfield where they can gather and share culture.