Kaartdijin, Moort, Ngalak

At Scotch we pride ourselves on our history, our tradition and the ongoing connection between Scotch boys' past, present and future. However, in comparison to the original inhabitants of this land, our history is quite brief. The Indigenous people of Australia have an ancient history branching back over 10,000 years, filled with stories and traditions that have been passed down through generations. It is a privilege having Scotch sit on Whadjuk Noongar land and throughout my time at Scotch College it has been incredible seeing all students, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, learn more about aboriginal culture. This is an area which I look forward to growing and enhancing as we move forward.

There are three values from Noongar culture that reflect what we try to represent at the College. The first comes from the Whadjuk Noongar word kaartdijin, which roughly translates to 'knowledge'. Indigenous history is built on telling stories and educating through word of mouth and, just like how Noongar elders have passed stories down through many generations, we are trying to pass down what we have learned to inspire the leaders of tomorrow. We have already seen some of our old boys come back to teach, coach or serve at the College, embracing this idea of passing on what you have learned. The recent establishment of the Scotch Heritage Centre pays homage to both our non-Indigenous and Indigenous Old Scotch Collegians. Furthermore, the collection presents an oral and visual journey through our past.

The second value that we, at Scotch, try to emulate from Noongar culture is moort or 'family'. The Indigenous culture emphasises how important the connection between young people and their family is to their development. I firmly believe when you enrol your boy at Scotch, you enrol your whole family. We embrace mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters alike and invite them to become part of their son's education experience. It is always great to see so many family members coming to events such as assembly to celebrate the achievements of their boys. Without this family support our boys would not be able to reach their full potential as Scotch students. Family is the core of who we are and what we will become.


The final value is one that really personifies the College: ngalak, which means 'we' or 'us'. The Indigenous sense of community is incredibly strong and is, to me, their most admirable value. At Scotch we are not only a school, but a community, we are a collection of families, educators, Old Boys, current students and future students who all believe in preparing boys for life. So, while boys attend the school for a small part of their life, they and their families remain members of the Scotch College community for life.

On reflection, through these values and lessons of the Whadjuk Noongar people we are reminded of how important it is to teach our boys about other cultures. We are fortunate to have a proud group of Indigenous students who assist in teaching others about their culture and develop a deep level of understanding and respect between the many cultures represented here at the College.

With National Sorry Day acknowledged around the country last weekend, we continue to encourage our boys to practice these values of learning, family and community to help them not only understand but embrace Indigenous culture so that they can fully appreciate the importance of national reconciliation both now and in the future.