These stones can tell an incredible story but they have also helped build positive awareness for three young Koori women.
When statues across the world are tumbling and community racial values questions amid the Black Lives Matters movement, the Mount Rowan Secondary College trio say this coincidental art project sparked constructive talk.
Year 11 students Dakota Campbell, Dekoda Kerr and Maggie-Rose Brooks helped to lead the college's delayed Reconciliation Week events this week. This included students telling their stories in Aboriginal paintings on stone.
All three are intrigued about their culture and ancestors and said while they were learning, they could do so alongside classmates and the student body.
We all have different views and ways of looking at things.Dakota Campbell, Mount Rowan year 11
"We all have different views and ways of looking at things," Ms Campbell said.
"This is the Indigenous and traditional way our ancestors would have used 2000 years ago. I'm learning all the meanings...being able to teach our friends and help explain what it means to us has been great."
In the session, students worked alongside Mirriyu Cultural Consulting's Bonnie Chew, a Waddawurrung woman, who taught them about different symbols and techniques, to show stars or colours to represent death.
The trio said a lot of students found their own connections through the art to moments and meaningful aspects of their lives. They say the shared culture and understanding is an important part of Reconciliation.
Ms Campbell said she grew up surrounded by Indigenous art. The session gave her a new perspective to read and better understand stories in art, like pieces by her friend and artist Josh Muir, a Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta man.
Mount Rowan Secondary College has more than 20 students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander with more students who recognise Indigenous heritage.
The trio said Indigenous recognition and culture awareness was changing about the school as more students and teachers felt comfortable exploring more.
All three women have been involved in the school's Indigenous dance program, which offered them a chance to perform in Melbourne. They said Indigenous awareness programs, led by teacher Karryne Hearn, had made a big difference.
A lot of classes have been having discussions about what's been happening..It's good to see we can share each other's views with respect.Dakota Kerr
"It's good as senior students we can help impact the school's Indigenous program and build respect for Indigenous culture," Ms Campbell said.
"...A lot of classes have been having discussions abut what's been happening now. We don't always agree, even with each other, but it's good to see we can share each others' views with respect."
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