Para Hills High School
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90 Beafield Road
Para Hills West SA 5096

Phone: 08 8258 5466

Exploring cultural background in year 8 English

This term in year 8 English, my class studied the novel “Nips XII” by Ruth Starke, which tells the story of a group of multicultural students who decide to form a cricket team and compete against students from an elite private school.

One of the writing exercises the students had to complete was to write about their own cultural background. Below is an excerpt from one student - Jacob Sharrock - who wrote an excellent piece about his Ngarrindjeri and Waka Waka background.

"My cultural background is the Indigenous/Aboriginal culture. I come from two tribes, the Ngarrindjeri tribe and the Waka Waka tribe. My Dad is Ngarrindjeri and my Mum is Waka Waka, that’s why I’m both Ngarrindjeri and Waka Waka. The Ngarrindjeri and Waka Waka tribes ate many different foods such as mussels, salt and freshwater fish, turtles, kangaroos, possums and native fruits and vegetables. The Murray River would support healthy populations of waterfowl.

One of the celebrations was painting. Painting told a story or showed land and symbols. Telling stories was a big part of my ancestors’ lives for they would pass stories down for generations and generations.

Some more celebrations that my Popa was taught was to learn the language that his tribe spoke. He was also taught how to hunt and fish and to gut, skin and cook what he caught. People were taught how to set traps and throw spears and boomerangs. My Popa was taught how to cook kangaroo tail soup and it’s his favourite dish to this day. By the time my Popa was 10 years old he knew how to ride horses. Ngarrindjeri is an Aboriginal nation of 18 language groups.

My Popa was taught these things when he grew up in the stolen generation."

Great work Jacob!

Jenny Fantinel
English/HASS Coordinator

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