CULTURE: Students from Dalby and Chinchilla state high schools attended the Dalby PCYC to learn traditional indigenous games.
CULTURE: Students from Dalby and Chinchilla state high schools attended the Dalby PCYC to learn traditional indigenous games. Michael Doyle

Indigenous culture shared

WHILE it may have appeared to be all fun and play for Year 12 students from Dalby and Chinchilla, the significance of the activities resonated far beyond the oval on which they were played.

As part of National Reconciliation Week, Dalby PCYC invited 14 indigenous students from Dalby State High School, as well as five from Chinchilla State High School, to learn traditional games used by Indigenous Australians many generations ago.

The day-long event combined these activities with theory lessons, to help a young generation of indigenous men and women learn and experience more of their heritage and culture.

These lessons were displayed late in the day, as the students organised their own games, displaying skills that were necessary for tribes.

Kyla-Rae Johnstone was one of the Dalby students at the workshop. She said learning traditional games and skills was part of embracing the proud heritage of her indigenous ancestors.

"It makes me really proud to be an aboriginal and to have our own games and to learn them to show our younger generation and be able to pass that down,” Ms Johnstone said

"If it was not for our ancestors we wouldn't be here, where we are today, and we wouldn't know all of these traditions that we are learning.”

Shontai Hinch, also from Dalby, said the skills learnt from the games allowed her to understand a little more about how tribes interacted with each other .

"One of the games we played would have been used to train people how to use a spear and it would help with communication and hunting,” Shontai said.

"I want to know more: When we go on trips we learn things I didn't know, so I do want to know more.

"When you learn about where you are from you want to know more.”

The event on Wednesday was led by Indigenous community sport and recreational officer at the Dalby PCYC Shaye Easton.

Ms Easton organised the event with the aim of not only teaching the 19 students the indigenous games, but with a plan for it to be taught across Dalby and Chinchilla.

"We called the event the TIGs (Traditional Indigenous Games) workshop and it is about helping these students learn some of the games that would have been played,” Ms Easton said.

"The theory lessons also gives them a lot of information.

"The aim is for this program to be taken into the community, mainly in the primary schools.”


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