South Kempsey Public School hosts Elders Recognition Assembly

YOUNG AND OLD: SKINIP and WKINIP elders with "future elders", school captain Anslem Campbell-Cook and prospective leader Zailen Campbell-Cook. Photo: Tom Bushnell.

YOUNG AND OLD: SKINIP and WKINIP elders with "future elders", school captain Anslem Campbell-Cook and prospective leader Zailen Campbell-Cook. Photo: Tom Bushnell.

The South Kempsey Public School held a ceremony in partnership with Family and Community Services to recognise the Elders from the South Kempsey Neighbourhood Improvement Project (SKINIP) for their work within the community educating youth and enhancing the environment. 

Community Health Project Officer Mavis Symonds said SKINIP originated when a group of women got together to try to improve life in the social housing area and the progress is visible for everyone to see.

“The ladies are incredibly strong and they try to work with the community,” Mrs Symonds said..

“Whatever work they do for the community they do it quietly, without a lot of fanfare.

“They act upon the old adage that it takes a community to raise a child.”

Principal project officer for Family and Community Services Deb Kuhn said the elders chose to celebrate at the school so the children could share in the occasion, hear the history and understand the importance of preserving Aboriginal culture.

Mrs Kuhn said a place plan was being developed for Kempsey with the community, non-government organisations, council and other government agencies collaborating.

“The aim is to create projects and programs which reflect community desires and create opportunity to grow jobs,” Mrs Kuhn said.

“For example, the trust and pride project, which builds trust in the community, then works with them to provide landscaping and gardens, so people can be proud of the area in which they reside.”

COMMUNITY GROWTH: A tree is to be planted as a lasting memorial of the elders and the significant progress that has been made. Photo: Tom Bushnell.

COMMUNITY GROWTH: A tree is to be planted as a lasting memorial of the elders and the significant progress that has been made. Photo: Tom Bushnell.

ART APPRECIATION: The students presented the elders with artworks to show their appreciation. Photo: Tom Bushnell.

ART APPRECIATION: The students presented the elders with artworks to show their appreciation. Photo: Tom Bushnell.

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