Students wear First Nations badges with pride

Posted on in General

A new badge worn by our First Nations students at the College is a daily reminder of their cultural identity.

The First Nations-St Mary’s College badge was designed by Gamilaraay woman, Caitlin Marr (Year 12), with inspiration from palawa woman, Bonnie Bowden (Year 12), who wanted a badge to ‘remind people of who I am’.

St Mary’s College First Nations Facilitator K-12, Claire Raward says that in wearing the badge, our proud First Nations students and staff can ‘celebrate the significant contribution that palawa and First Nations culture offers to our learning’.

‘It’s also a reminder to be culturally sensitive and inclusive in our school,’ Claire says.

‘It’s important to acknowledge that the best symbols for culture are found in country for First Nations people, but the badge offers a statement in Western culture.’

The key features of the badge include:

  • rrala, the palawa kani word for strong, chosen by palawa student Mia Styles (Year 5)
  • the colours representative of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags
  • maireener shells, which are a symbol of the cultural practise of women going on country and gathering shells which the students have achieved with SMC parent, Sharnie Read
  • gum leaves, which are a symbol of the connection to country and the healing and renewal from ceremony.





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St Mary's College is located on the traditional lands of the muwinina people of the South East Nation. We acknowledge and deeply respect the palawa people, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community, and all Elders past and present. We are committed to learning alongside our students and community in this place, nipaluna, and support the continued sharing of knowledge and culture.