NAIDOC celebrations are in full swing this week.
Poems in in language written by students have been published on a grand scale on bus backs as part of the community's NAIDOC celebrations.
This year's theme 'Voice, Treaty, Truth. Let's work together for a shared future' highlights what can be achieved through thoughtful collaboration, creativity and respect for the environment.
First Nations students from Aurora Southern Highlands Steiner School, Moss Vale High School, Bowral Public School and Berrima Public School met on Gundungura land in March as part of Red Room's Poetry in First Languages project.
The three-day event brought Gundungurra Elder Aunty Sharon Halls, Gundungurra Language Custodian, Aunty Trish Levett together with Gundungurra raised Gunai woman Kirli Saunders and environmentalist and Gumea Dharawal Custodian Jacob Morris, to create poetry in language while learning about the environment and heritage of the area.
Community engagement officer for the Office of Environment & Heritage NSW Simon Tedder said that the poems developed by local students in Gundungurra languaged would be published and performed at the Wingecarribee Shire Council Flag raising ceremony.
"The poems celebrate the significance of the Glossy black cockatoo, to Gundungurra Country and people," he said.
Aboriginal community development officer Melissa Wiya said "students wrote really beautiful poems about conservation in Gundungurra language."
Creator of Poetry in First Languages and Red Room Poetic Learning Manager Kirli Saunders said that the project was close to her heart.
"It is powerful working with Aunty Sharyn Halls, Aunty Trish Levett, Jacob Morris and Mel Wiya to deliver Poetry in First Languages," she said. "Now to see the student's words up there on the buses, sailing around the community for all to see, it's just such a celebration."
Jake Nichols is particularly excited to see his poem and his photo on the buses. When asked what he thought of it he said "Let's make our land grow!"
Read Now: NAIDOC Week begins