Lesson 6: Whanau – follow the spearhead.
Whanau means to ‘be born’ or ’give birth’ and is symbolised in Maori mythology by a spearhead – ‘a spearhead has three tips, but to work properly all force must move in one direction. In other words, individuals are ‘free to choose the course they take, but the spearhead is most effective if we work together. For the All Blacks ‘no one is bigger than the team’ and despite individual brilliance ‘one selfish mindset will infect a collective culture’.
How true. We are all more effective as a team working in one direction. I have witnessed this many times over at Glennie. Last Sunday at the Glennie Jazz Fest, we were impressed by the depth and talent of our bands from Junior Years to Senior Years. Our singers also showcased their versatility and some cool dance moves. Capping things off was the outstanding performance of our musical staff who, with little preparation, used their Whanau to pull together and entertain the big crowd.
Another example of Whanau was our Reconciliation Assembly where our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls chaired the assembly to educate us about what reconciliation means. They were young, strong and proud indigenous women and I include for your reference some of the speech delivered by Year 12 student, Ms Anna Dingley.
“What does Reconciliation mean?’ What does it really mean?
I see it as a 14 letter word that holds the capability to mend people, communities, and our nation together.
Every day I observe the achievements of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, not only nationally but right here, in front of me. This is an achievement. Here, today, to have the opportunity to connect with our wider community and to educate and reconcile with each other. We need to see it as a journey for both Indigenous and non-indigenous to walk hand in hand, to listen to our songs, watch our dance, live through our art and hear our stories. Reconciling is to understand our First Nations mistreatment in regards to our dispossession, persecution and oppression that was and the current ongoing inequalities that we as the young faces of Australia are shackled with every day.
So when you hear the word ‘Reconciliation’, what do you think? Do you think of Truth? Do you think of Justice? Healing? And reparation? Can we see it as our 14 letter word that can mend us together as a nation?”
What more is there to say…….
With every blessing for the coming week.
Ms Mary Anne Evans