We celebrated our second Wellbeing Focus Day, with our focus for 2018 was “This is Me”. The theme focused on celebrating the individual diversity of each and every member of our community and the differences that we have.  Students and staff were challenged to ask themselves who is the person they want to be, are they being true to themselves in the way they present to others.

We are proud of every student and build respectful relationships with our community whilst respecting everyone’s rights and building resilience. We launched the implementation of our Respectful Relationships curriculum on our Focus day and look forward to building embedding this throughout all our subjects from Years 7-12. Respectful Relationships Education is the holistic approach to school-based, primary prevention of gender-based violence.  It uses the education system as a catalyst for generational and cultural change by engaging schools, as both education institution and workplaces to comprehensively address the drivers of gender-based violence and create a future free from such violence.

“All the evidence shows that education is the key to ending the vicious cycle of family violence, which is why teaching Respectful Relationships at school is so important.” James Merlino, Minister for Education

The event provided opportunities to push outside of our comfort zones and try something new.  Our speakers encouraged students and staff to set goals and trust yourself to believe anything is possible.  Ben Pettingill spoke about having a limitless vision and not letting barriers stop you from achieving.  Ben shared that although he may have lost 98% of his eyesight overnight, he now sees clearer than ever before using newfound forms of vision, true and limitless vision, his motto aspire, acquire and action equal limitless vision.   Shane McCurry encouraged our Year 11 and 12 students to set goals and focus on what it is they can control.   Shane emphasised that we can choose to be happy and flourish and when we do make that choice, we achieve our best. He encouraged students and staff to learn to tell their own story and recognise the critical moments in their lives that have helped them decide who they want to be.  Ben Harkin shared his story on overcoming adversity and reinforced the message to choose who it is you want to be and do not let anything stop you from achieving.

The Indigenous HIP HOP Projects led a number of workshops across the day and their performances across the day were a highlight for many students.  A team also worked with our Koori students during the week in the lead up to our day to write a song and produce a music video.  In the lead up to NAIDOC 2018 the IHHP team supported 25 young indigenous leaders from years seven to nine to write a song paying tribute to the strong resilient women of the community and paying homage to this years NAIDOC theme ‘Because of her we can”.  The students also combined the theme of our Wellbeing Focus Day “This is Me” exploring issues of skin, racism, acceptance, belonging and connection to family and land.  The end product is amazing and we are incredibly proud of our students and the way they have captured both of these themes to produce a truly sensational music video.

A project like this is only possible with the support of our wider community – special thanks to Narjiic Day Burns (Yidaki) and a huge shout out to the IHHP crew that delivered this project Tina Demelo, Dallas Woods, Nellie Brownfield and Dion Brownfield.

The day incorporated the Echuca College Talent Show, an amazing event with incredible involvement from the crowd showing generous support for each act.  The eventual winners were Emily Watts and Josh Berg.  During lunch, students had access to many food outlets including – Echuca Ice Creamery, Sen on Maddison, Monkee and Co, Craig Danewan,  The Murray River Tea Rooms and Kaye Davis. There was also a number of activities for students to participate in including the Meltdown, the Big Baller, S.A.F.E. Archery, Zorb Balls, Human Soccer and a Petting Zoo.  Students also had the opportunity to dunk a number of teachers on the dunking machine on a very cold day!

Overall our day was a great success with students and staff having the time to build relationships with each other- appreciating our similarities and respecting our differences and taking the time to express our gratitude for the great school community we share.