Leadership Learning Afternoon with Dr Candace Kruger


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Last week, the Student Executive Committee were pleased to welcome QAHS students, staff and parents to our final Leadership Learning Afternoon Tea for 2023, hosted by our Year 10 student leaders. Through Student Executive Committee meetings, the need and want for more education around Indigenous Australian knowledge and culture was apparent, and we were therefore overjoyed to have Yugambeh yarrabilginngunn (song woman) and proud Kombumerri (Gold Coast) and Ngugi (Moreton Island) Aboriginal woman, Dr Candace Kruger as our guest speaker.


As well as being a long and close associate of QAHS and parent of QAHS alumnus (Isobella Kruger, Class of 2018), Dr Kruger is an author, musician, composer, educator, and is the founder and director of the Yugambeh Youth Choir. She has taught in school classrooms for over 27 years, and now lectures in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University, in her specialty area - Indigenous Knowledges and Education.

Her presentation guided us through the importance of knowing about one's ancestors and where you are from, to Aboriginal group boundaries and language codes, Yugambeh names of landforms and areas, the significance of Bora sites, Aboriginal songs and stories, and the importance of not assuming knowledge about Aboriginal people when working in the medical field – just to list a few topics! 

Year 12 Student Leader, Regina Hoare, reflects on her experience of Dr Kruger's presentation:

I found Dr. Kruger's presentation thoroughly interesting and informative. I particularly enjoyed learning about the semantic origins of certain Australian place names. Whilst I knew that “Coombabah" and “Nerang" weren't English words, I wasn't aware of the significance of their Indigenous meanings. Even if passersby and long-term residents alike don't necessarily know that a certain suburb may have been named after an occupant animal or prominent natural feature, I'm glad that these place names were preserved. Promoting awareness and literacy about Indigenous culture and traditions is no small feat, yet Dr. Kruger's engaging presentation proved that with just one presentation, one song, or one story at a time, each of us can contribute towards preventing its erasure. I am glad Dr. Kruger was able to join us to round off the year as the last Leadership Afternoon Presentation and I encourage students in the wider school community to participate in these enriching events in the future".

Much gratitude goes to Dr Kruger for her generosity in sharing. Thank you, also, to our audience members for being open to learning and embracing this wonderful opportunity to increase their knowledge in the area of Indigenous Australian culture.

Marnie Chetter
Teacher of English & Student Leadership Coordinator

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Last reviewed 11 August 2023
Last updated 11 August 2023