On Barkindji Country, more than 1100 kilometres west of Sydney, brothers Jobe and Nash are getting ready to head back to their classrooms after nearly two months of home learning.
The Broken Hill kids say it’s been fun learning from home and spending more time with their mum, but they’re keen to see their friends again and continue their Indigenous cultural and language lessons back at school.
“I get to see all my mates and I get to have fun with all the stuff the teachers plan,” said Nash, 8, who is learning Barkindji at Burke Ward Primary School.
The boy’s mother, Renee Zammit, said she was thrilled her kids were given the opportunity to embrace their culture in the classroom, something that was never offered to her as a child. The kids are particularly fond of their Aboriginal education officer Cynthia Marks, known as Ms Cindy.
“Nash partakes in language, he’s in year two, so he does language group with Miss Cindy, and Jobe attends boys club, and they do stuff like building traditional huts in the garden,” Ms Zammit said.
“They’re very lucky and it makes them more interested in wanting to learn as well. They’ve been researching how to make coolamons [a traditional carrying vessel sometimes used to hold newborns] and stuff like that,” she said.
While the family has had a good time learning from home, Ms Zammit is keen for her kids to get back to their cultural studies.
“Nash has been practising his Welcome to Country regularly at home and Jobe has been trying to google a bit of Indigenous art to do at home, but I guess when they have Miss Cindy she’s like a proper teacher and can direct them a bit better than I can,” she said.
Principal of the Burke Ward Primary School, Kate Hogg, told The Sydney Morning Herald that she was certain her students were keen to come back and return to a routine.