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Development and Community
Several members of the teaching staff have been nominated by the community for the National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA). Congratulations to the following teachers in the primary school: Kate Porter; Briar Bracey; Ailsa Crockett; Annette Box; and the following teachers in the secondary school: Kerry Daud; Margot Shave; George Higgins; Kate Weidemann; Courtney Burton; Claire Bloomer; Brad King; Cassandra Argent; Thomas Smithers; Kate Montgomery; Nicole Walker; Chris Dunn; Tammy MacGinley. These awards are designed to encourage and support educators through recognising those who are examples of excellence in their profession. It is a wonderful way to recognise the fantastic and important work of our teachers and is a great reflection on the quality of the whole school teaching and learning community.
Term’s notice of withdrawal
This is just another reminder to parents that if your child is not returning to St Margaret’s in 2022, we require one full school term’s written notice if you intend to withdraw you child from the school. Otherwise, you will be charged one school term’s fees in lieu of notice. Currently, we are working on the 2022 timetable and staffing, and it is important that we have accurate enrolment numbers. In some year levels, we have waitlists and we need to be able to contact those on the list who are hoping to secure a place at the school. To meet the requirement of a term’s notice, advice can be received up to the last Friday of the September school holidays. Advice may be emailed directly to me or to our admissions via firstname.lastname@example.org
We are into the second week of the release of our parent survey which would have been sent to you by MMG Education. We are hoping to have at least a 50 per cent response rate in order to canvas as many opinions as possible, and provide us with solid benchmarks (to compare against both future surveys we will conduct and the benchmarking that MMG can provide us against other similar schools). Currently, 35 per cent of parents have responded, and I sincerely thank you if you have afforded us some of your time to complete this comprehensive survey.
This survey (across Prep to Year 12) gives you the opportunity to express confidentially your views of the ways in which we meet your needs and those of your daughter/s. It will remain open until the Sunday 12 September, so I urge you to please avail yourself of this opportunity to have your say.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this important project.
The 124th Annual Speech Night and Prize Giving Ceremony (Tuesday 12 October 2021) is fast approaching, and excitement is building as students anticipate the end of the year and all that it brings.
This year we will again be booking tickets for Speech Night online through QPAC booking system. We are so pleased to be back to 100% capacity and with Years 5-12 joining us for this very special evening. Please note that families are asked to reserve no more than two tickets per family.
Bookings will open for Year 12 parents only this Friday 10 September 2021, and these families will receive an email this week with the details of how to make their booking.
Tickets for all other year levels will open to the rest of the school at 5pm on Tuesday 5 October 2021. The prize reading assembly occurs on this day.
Your daughters will receive their tickets at school (they will not be sitting with you) and therefore you do not need to book seats for them.
This year there is the added option of print@home which will make it much easier for families to access their tickets. Of course, families are still able to choose the option of QPAC box office collection; however, please be aware that the box office is a busy place just prior to the event so you may wish to opt for print@home.
We will continue to liaise with QPAC and will be sure to communicate with all parents as to any COVID restrictions that will be in place for the evening.
We look forward to seeing many students and families at our annual Speech Night and Prize Giving Ceremony.
Since the beginning of 2020 and the pandemic, it seems our lives have become a bit of a moveable feast. We have had to learn to be flexible with making plans for all our school services, functions, and events. We have had to create plan A, plan B and even sometimes plan C. Many plans for last year, this year and beyond have had to be changed as we face the latest lockdown and restrictions within our state, in our country and around the world.
During this time, we are acutely aware that many of our students, staff and families have not been able to physically connect with their loved ones over this time. All these situations have certainly challenged us. In some ways, we seem to be moving faster, the pace is quickening. It is at these times we need to centre ourselves. I often say to the students, take a deep breath, its amazing how these deep breaths can calm our hearts, mind, and spirit. It is at these times we also need to find our Sabbath. It does not have to be the traditional Sunday, it could be any day, a half a day, or perhaps an hour. We need to be intentional about how we find our Sabbath, a moment, to pause, and breathe deeply.
Please find below, a poem about the Sabbath. May we find our Sabbath.
one day a week,
one year in seven,
a moment of repose.
a temple, church, ashram, mosque,
beneath an ageless tree,
a mountain top where spirits abide,
a sacred site within.
who pause awhile
to be in touch,
to laugh, to cry,
to pray as one;
to share the silence;
to feel alive,
to be renewed in one another.
- Noel Davis from Heart Gone Walkabout
Rev Susan Crothers-Robertson
Boarding offers a time for growth and change, struggle and triumph. This is a critical time in student’s lives. Part of the Boarding experience is to teach the students independence, resilience and the ability to problem solve with the support of the staff. Part of the experience is not always getting it right, but then having the support to try again. Some students experience more difficulties and obstacles than others, but all students deserve the same attention and care.
Important in this process of growth, are our Housemothers and Senior Boarding Staff. They possess the ability to anticipate a challenge or success, see a need and respond to it, and look past a problem to its solutions. All Boarding Staff are teachers, coaches, advisors, mentors, parental figures, cheerleaders and someone who is there to catch the girls when they fall. Pastoral care has always been a huge focus in Boarding, creating a strong foundation of support. Our staff take on multiple roles to support each individual student.
Community is about the human factor and our boarding students belong to a community that is supportive, warm and caring. We strive to ensure that all girls are included and that parents understand that we endeavour to create the best ‘home away from home’. Closing in on Week 9 has been a true testimony to this, term 3 is quite the marathon, but we are all making sure we get your daughters to the finish line.
More than any other technique, the key to performing well on exams is starting early and using short, frequent study sessions. This has become a bit of a mantra for me over that last 2 weeks as I speak to many girls at lunch and morning tea times about how to move successfully through to the end of term.
Research has found that the human brain learns academic material faster and better if time is spent “preparing and reviewing” in brief blocks of time spread out, rather than long study sessions. For example, you have a better chance at performing on an exam if you spend one hour a day for 20 days than if you spend 10 hours studying each day for two days before an exam. Therefore, we need to encourage all our students to plan ahead, that includes dividing material into ‘chunks’. To cover across the lead up to the exam and when studying, use time to develop and make study resources. But most importantly use study time to practice, recite and rewrite the content being covered. Below I have shared with you some specific strategies, I share with the girls about ‘preparation and review’ techniques and the differences so you can also discuss with your daughters if they need some extra guidance.
Develop study notes/concept maps
Make word, formula, question cards
Do revision quizzes or redo class activities
Answer questions from textbooks
Recite study notes/ concept maps
Practice word, formula and question cards
Practice writing main points
Recite out loud content to be remembered like formulas and definitions
Next Term, I will be working with the Year 10 Academic Advisors and Students to complete an online Study Skills Program to equip the students with a toolkit of strategies they can draw on to assist them with their approach to their learning as they move into Year 11.
Today we ran the School Readiness Test (SRT) for NAPLAN online with students in Years 7 and 8. Thank you to all students who arrived with charged laptops and wired headphones. This was a great learning experience for both the school and all students who participated. Over the next 6 months we will continue to take advantage of the public demonstration site, formal NAPLAN Online practice and our own practice tests. This will ensure that our students are familiar with the platform when they sit NAPLAN Online in May.
End of Term Reflection
As the end of the term creeps closer, I encourage students to reflect on their own Term 3. Consider asking your daughter(s) the following: Were you able to achieve the goals you set at the beginning of the term? Why or why not? What are some things you did well, and what are some things you would change?
Self-reflection is important as it help us to develop our skills and review their effectiveness, rather than doing things the way we have always done them and expecting different or better outcomes. It is important to question, in a positive way, what we do and why and then to consider if there is a better or more efficient way of doing this in the future.
We often hear that teenagers are ‘under construction’ but we sometimes forget the amazing transformation that their brains are going through. Emotions run high when dealing with ‘irrational’ behaviours of adolescents and adults can struggle to get their own heads around what’s going on inside the teenage brain. As we approach the holidays, I thought I would share a short but excellent article that was published in Harvard Magazine in 2008. It concisely explains what is happening inside the brain of our children and gives scientific reasoning for their sometimes unpredictable behaviours.
How can teens be so clever, accomplished, and responsible—and reckless at the same time? Easily, according to two physicians at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School (HMS) who have been exploring the unique structure and chemistry of the adolescent brain. “The teenage brain is not just an adult brain with fewer miles on it,” says Frances E. Jensen, a professor of neurology. “It’s a paradoxical time of development. These are people with very sharp brains, but they’re not quite sure what to do with them.”
Research during the past 10 years, powered by technology such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, has revealed that young brains have both fast-growing synapses and sections that remain unconnected. This leaves teens easily influenced by their environment and more prone to impulsive behavior, even without the impact of souped-up hormones and any genetic or family predispositions.
Human and animal studies, Jensen and Urion note, have shown that the brain grows and changes continually in young people—and that it is only about 80 percent developed in adolescents. The largest part, the cortex, is divided into lobes that mature from back to front. The last section to connect is the frontal lobe, responsible for cognitive processes such as reasoning, planning, and judgment. Normally this mental merger is not completed until somewhere between ages 25 and 30—much later than these two neurologists were taught in medical school.
Teen brains, for example, are more susceptible than their adult counterparts to alcohol-induced toxicity. Studies also show that marijuana use blocks cell signaling in the brain. Jensen highlights, “We make the point that what you did on the weekend is still with you during that test on Thursday. You’ve been trying to study with a self-induced learning disability.”
For his part, Urion believes programs aimed at preventing risky adolescent behaviors would be more effective if they offered practical strategies for making in-the-moment decisions, rather than merely lecturing teens about the behaviors themselves. For this reason, the St Margaret’s pastoral care team are working towards providing students real life scenarios to where the girls can role play their responses.
By raising awareness of this paradoxical period in brain development, the neurologists hope to help young people cope with their challenges, as well as recognize their considerable strengths.
This week is National Child Protection Week, which is coordinated by the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN). It is a week that reminds the nation about the importance of supporting families so that they can protect children. Each year a theme is selected; this year’s theme is:
Every child, in every community, needs a fair go.
To treat all of Australia’s children fairly, we need to make sure every family and community has what kids need to thrive and be healthy.
Traditionally, National Child Protection Week commences on Father’s Day and I believe it acts as a reminder of the part significant males play in family life.
It was wonderful to launch Father’s Day celebrations with our primary school breakfast last Thursday. On this special morning, a carnival atmosphere permeated - the Spring sun shone, the men mingled, and the girls proudly gifted their ‘ties’. Thank you to Annette Box for organising and overseeing this event and to everyone else involved in making this event a great success: Kerry Rider, Maria Elisseos, teachers, administration staff and the kitchen staff.
Our celebrations included for the first time a bonding activity. Many adults took the opportunity to donate their money and time to create a SolarBuddy with their child. This activity also introduced our school community to this global community of change makers, particularly the CEO, Simon Doble. He shared his story of inspiration and courage as he set about to find a solution to eradicate energy poverty.
As a school, we are grateful that we were able to offer our families an opportunity to play a small part in this solution to a global problem. Providing these gifts of lights and letters will positively impact lives by increasing study hours after dark, offsetting carbon emissions and reducing kerosene expenditure. Also, by creating SolarBuddy to be distributed to families in developing countries, we are offering the children in these families a “fair go” as is the aim of National Child Protection Week.
Our school has committed to purchasing three hundred SolarBuddy's. If you would like your daughter to make one during a school workshop, please make your purchase through Flexischools. Further to this, if you would like to purchase multiple SolarBuddy's to engage in a corporate team building exercise, please call the Primary Office to arrange purchase and collection. We look forward to your continued support of this significant global solution.
I would like to reiterate to our primary parents the importance to the school of you completing the survey those parents in Prep to Year 6 would have received from MMG Education. The survey is the opportunity for you to express confidentially your views of the ways in which we meet your needs and those of your daughter/s. Your responses will assist the St Margaret’s School Council and Senior Leadership Team to review the school’s operations and plans for the future. Please avail yourself of this opportunity to have your say. The survey will remain open until this Sunday 12 September.
Tickets are now available for purchase for our upcoming Music Dinner to be held on Friday 15 October via Flexischools. The annual Music Dinner is an occasion where students celebrate the culmination of a wonderful year of music at St Margaret’s. It is always a special night for the music students with awards given, and presentations made to acknowledge the girls’ many achievements. Music Dinner is a fancy-dress occasion and this year’s theme ‘Thoroughly Modern Musicals’. Girls are encouraged to explore musicals from 2000 onwards to create their costume for the event. There is a prize for ‘Best Dressed’ for students in each year level as well as ‘Best Dressed Parent’. Music Dinner is open to students in Years 6-12 who have been involved in Co-curricular Music Ensembles for the year. Tickets for adults are $70 per head and students $60 per head (available only via Flexischools: www.flexischools.com.au), and include drinks upon arrival and a two-course meal. For catering purposes, it is imperative you include any dietary requirements and payments are made by 5pm, Wednesday 6 October. Please be mindful there is a capped number, so book your tickets early!
Music Dinner Decorators Needed
We need volunteers to decorate tables for the Music Dinner, Friday 15 October. This can be done in pairs or if you are new to the Music Program, and would like to help, we can team you up with a member of the Music Support Group to help guide you. The themed table decorations are a highlight for the girls as a surprise when they enter the hall. Please email Amber Edwards on email@example.com for details.
The Music Support Group is introducing an exciting new fundraising initiative – a Practice-a-thon! They will be seeking students willing to commit to a certain number of practice sessions over a two-week period (with dates strategically chosen in the lead up to Term 4 Performance Presentations and 2022 Ensemble auditions) with sponsors agreeing to pay for those sessions. There will be prizes for the most money raised with all donations received going to the Music Support Group to assist with the ongoing purchase of music instruments and other resources required by the St Margaret’s Music Program. Stay tuned for further details to be published next week!
Music Support Group
The next Music Support Group meeting will be on Tuesday 5 October at 5.00pm in the Primary Music Room (second floor of Chaseley). Parents from both the Primary and Secondary Schools are welcome to attend.
The Head of the River – Rowing’s Grand Final and the biggest event in the schoolgirl rowing calendar took place on Sunday 5 September, at Wyaralong Dam. It was a very special day for St Margaret’s with every crew having their best race on the day. The St Margaret’s shed finished first in the Year 8, Year 9 and Senior age group and second in the Year 10 age group. The efforts of all the rowers secured the Overall Aggregate Cup.
The Open First Eight rounded out a magnificent day of racing for the shed with a dominate victory 5.78 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor bringing home The BSRA Trophy for the shed. A replay of the racing can be found at: https://bsra.org.au/events/head-of-the-river-2021/
At a glance 82% of crews stepped onto the podium at the Head of the River with 90% of crews finishing in the top 4! St Margaret’s finished 181 points ahead of the nearest competing school with a total of 835 points.
The results of the shed can be attributed to the leadership of the 2021 Rowing Captains, Primrose Carrigan and Rosie Turnbull who united and inspired the shed throughout the season.
The ringing of the bell for crews that were victories on the day could be heard along the Brisbane River as it rang long into the night at the End of Season Rowing Presentation on Sunday night.
Congratulations to all Maggies Rowers on an outstanding season!
Club Netball Success
It all started back in January when over 230 St Margaret’s girls took to our new purpose-built Philip Harris Gym for Club Netball clinic and trials where we formed 23 teams ages 8-18 years. Teams trained weekly and took to the court each Saturday March to September at the Downey Park Netball courts. Each week the girls were encouraged by their Coaches, Team managers and well supported by our wonderful Netball Parents Support Group who ran fundraisers, raffles, and the annual trivial night. We missed a couple of rounds towards the end of the season with Covid restrictions but managed to get all teams back on court culminating in the final games and Grand final matches last Saturday 11 September. Five Maggies teams hit the court with great support resulting in 4 premierships and 1 runner up. Our NSG teams (5 -10) years also took to the court showing great growth in their skills and the love of the game over the season.
On Wednesday 1 September, the St Margaret's Rhythmic Gymnastics team competed at the QGSSSA Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships. It was a fantastic display of poise and skill with many teams clinching a top 3 podium finish and the Year 7iii team placing 1st. Well done to all girls for their commitment, perseverance and performance.
It was a super Saturday of fixtures against Ipswich Girls Grammar School on the weekend. Hockey had a clean sweep with the Open team winning 6-0, Snr A’s 6-1 and the Junior team winning 12-0! Netball won 8 out of 11 matches with the Open, Senior A, Senior C, 10B and 7A teams remaining. Tennis won all but one grade with a convincing win by the Open team 36 – 7. Meanwhile our 10A and 7A Volleyball teams continue on their winning ways claiming victory 3 sets to 0. Congratulations to all teams on some great performances. The final round of fixtures occur on Saturday 11 September against Clayfield College at their home venues. For all game schedules visit the Secondary Sport POD page or the individual Sport pages.
The athletics season is in the final stages with the last practice Meet being held on Friday 10 September at the University of Queensland Athletics track and several compulsory sessions before the big one - QGSSSA Championships on Thursday 16 September. The squad is over 100 athletes strong and is aiming to better the 2020 result. To support the team in this endeavour several key events will take place as detailed below:
For more detailed information, access the Athletics POD page.
Sports Awards Evening
This event is a highlight in the St Margaret’s sporting calendar, and I am pleased to announce that four-time Olympian in the sport of Water Polo, Bronwen Knox will be our special guest speaker. Bronwen will no doubt deliver an awe-inspiring speech sharing her personal journey from being a school-girl water polo player to an Olympian. This event will be held on Friday, 8 October with all award recipients being notified prior to the end of term.
St Margaret’s Sport looks forward to continuing to recognise and celebrate the sporting achievements of our students and staff in the below categories:
Nominations are currently open for Captain and Coach of the year through the Secondary Sport POD page.
Congratulations Phillipa (Pip) Murray for her selection as our September Artwork of the Month. Pip’s work certainly attracted attention from our visitors to the level 1 Arts Centre gallery with the most usual combination of materials used for her thoughtful installation.
HIRE OF CHURCH DRESSES FOR SPEECH NIGHT – Tuesday 12 October 2021
Hiring of Church Dresses will commence on Wednesday 15 September 2021. To hire a dress a “Hire Conditions of Church Dress” form must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian. This form is available on the Supplies Shop page of the website or from the Supplies Shop.
Completed and signed forms are to be returned to the School Supplies Shop, along with a deposit of $100. Plain white, fold down ankle socks (not St Margaret’s competition socks), clean brown school shoes and a white ribbon (for long hair) are to be worn with the Church Dress on Speech Night. Socks are available from the School Supplies Shop for $8.00, as is a white ribbon for $1.
Return date for all students except Year 6 is no later than Monday 25 October 2021. Year 6 students’ church dresses must be returned no later than Friday 26 November 2021.
All church dresses must be laundered, ironed and returned as per the ‘Hire Conditions’ for an amount of $70 to be refunded.
UNIFORM FITTING APPOINTMENTS – Online booking system
Bookings for October, November & December 2021 and January 2022 are available online now!
Book your appointment online via the school website.
We encourage families to book a fitting appointment as soon as possible to avoid missing your preferred day and time. Appointment times are either 30 minutes or 60 minutes depending on your fitting type. Fitting types include: New Student, Existing Student, Boarder Only, Pre-Prep / Prep and School Blazer Fitting.
Year 11 Students
The Year 11 Term 4 booklist is now available on the St Margaret’s website for Year 11 students to order for the upcoming Term 4.
The link is as follows:
Orders must be placed by Friday 5th September 2021 to ensure you have your textbooks and stationery by September 30th in time for Term 4. Home delivery is free for all orders placed before Friday 5th September 2021. If you are going away during the holidays, you may nominate an alternative address eg: a relative, neighbour or business address for their delivery to be sent to.
Only Boarders may have their book pack sent to St Margaret’s by completing the address on your order as (Students Name), St Margaret’s Boarding, 11 Petrie Street, Ascot Qld 4007
A friendly reminder the School Supply shop is now located in the Mayo building.
Professional Women’s Network
Our fourth Professional Women's Network Breakfast will be hosted on Wednesday 20 October in Term 4 with special guest speaker, Ruth Drinkwater. Ruth has had a diverse career with more than 20 years’ experience in management, business development, marketing and commercialisation, investment in emerging technology companies and capital raising.
She has been at the forefront of change in Angel investment and start-up activity. As an experienced non-executive Director, Ruth has sat on several Boards and Advisory Panels. She is currently Chair of Alkira Software Pty Ltd and Mrs Clucks Pty Ltd and a past CEO of Alkira Software, as well a past Director of several other quasi-Government, university and private company Boards. She is a co-founder of Mrs Clucks, continues as a member of the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland grant assessment committee and is a long-term member of Brisbane Angels.
Date: Wednesday 20 October 2021
Time: 6.45am for a 7.00am start. 8.45am finish
Venue: Arts Centre Foyer, St Margaret's Anglican Girls School
Tickets: $80 Adult, $40 Student (tertiary, Year 10 -12)
Book online via www.trybooking.com/BTQKR.
Nominations are open for St Margaret’s Past Student Awards!
If you know of a St Margaret’s Old Girl deserving of recognition, we encourage you to nominate them for a Past Student Award!
These annual awards recognise and celebrate the many achievements of our past students, both professionally and personally and provide an opportunity to share stories of success within our school community.
There are two award categories:
To make a nomination for the 2022 Awards, please complete a nomination form (link to PDF) (PDF 1MB) and submit by Friday 25 March 2022 then join us for the Past Student Awards Cocktail Evening on Saturday 23 April 2022.
St Margaret’s Rowing Support Group – Thank you to our supporters
Our St Margaret’s rowers performed incredibly well at Head of the River on Sunday, with the St Margaret’s shed winning Year 8, Year 9, Senior and the Overall Aggregate Cup. They also won the Open Eight Head of the River Trophy which rounded off a fantastic day on the water for the students, with most producing their best performance for the season. 470 proud parents, family members, rowers and coaches attended the presentation at the shed on Sunday evening.
The success of the shed each season wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful sponsors. As a collective, our sponsors provided over $45,000 to support our students this year in cash, in kind support and goods. We sincerely thank our generous sponsors for their outstanding support and we look forward to continuing the relationship in 2022.
Thank you to our Platinum Partner, Torque Toyota; our Gold Partners, Riverside Marine, Barambah Organics, The Calile Hotel, Hoppy’s Handwash Café, Ethos Orthodontics and Red Earth Energy Storage; and our Silver Partners, Henzell Real Estate and Fonzie Abbott. We are so appreciative of your support.
Torque Toyota donate $150 to St Margaret’s Rowing Program for every car purchased. If you are purchasing a new car, just let them know that you are a St Margaret’s parent or friend. We would also be grateful if you could email the RSG President and STM parent, Peter Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org), to advise that you have taken up this offer.
Please check the Careers News section on the Careers and Pathways POD page, or click here for more information about upcoming opportunities and events.
Whitehouse Institute of Design | Foundation Portfolio Workshop, Online
Saturday 18 September 2021, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Find out more:
Whitehouse Institute of Design | Mastering Video Workshop, Online
Saturday 18 September 2021, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Work Experience with Physio Labs
We like to support the local community. If a Year 10, 11 or 12 high school students are interested in becoming a Physiotherapist one day, we may be able to show them what it’s all about with a one week unpaid work experience placement. Learn more
There are a few conditions:
ADF | Gap Year Virtual Information Session
Thursday 23 September 2021, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Find out more: https://www.defencejobs.gov.au/events/events-detail/d5x6l4w
Griffith University Experience Days.
During the September holidays, Year 11 and 12 students, can join our Experience Days to get a feel for life at Griffith University. Register now
JCU Virtual Open Day
Students are invited to join us at Virtual Open Day on Tuesday 14 September from 4-7 PM. Explore JCU’s campuses and facilities, attend presentations, access course information, and chat to JCU staff and students, all from the comfort of your own home. Register now
QUT | Pathways to QUT
Wednesday 13 October 2021, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm. Online. Join us for a live webinar to help you find the best pathway to your preferred course.
Contact Our Admissions Team
An independent day and boarding school for girls from Pre-Prep to Year 12; Boarding from Year 5; Boys Pre-Prep
A School of the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent St Margaret's School Council Ltd ABN: 69069684019 CRICOS Code: 00511K
The St Margaret’s community acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which we gather each day. We pay our respects to the Elders past and present, for they hold the memories, traditions, culture and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation.