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The St George Illawarra Dragons have announced two schools as the winners of the inaugural school learning icon competition.

The competition – designed to get schools and students thinking about the importance and relevance of the Aboriginal history on the lands of which their school is situated and from where they are learning from – saw students design a learning icon which reflected the history of our First Nations' people.

Students worked with local Aboriginal families, associations and elders to ensure that First Nations people's culture, uniqueness and respect of 'Country' was encapsulated.

University of Wollongong's Woolyungah Indigenous Centre, proud sponsors of the competition, were so impressed with the quality of the entries that they doubled their voucher prize to each school.

"Every entry was outstanding; we are delighted to support such an important initiative. We are very happy to announce and congratulate Eden and Gerringong Public Schools for their winning icons," Director of Woolyungah Indigenous Centre Jaymee Beveridge said.

Each school received:

  • $1000 voucher from the UOW resource/book store (kindly donated by Woolyungah Indigenous Centre, and;
  • 2021 signed Dragons jersey

Eden Public School (group entry)

"The icon we designed represents our school and our local community.  The whale (Jaanda) shows resilience and strength, the black ducks (Wambara – local totem) show responsibility and courage and the Imlay Mountain (Balawan) shows respect and wisdom while she protects our local area of Eden and Twofold Bay. The colours also incorporate and represent our school's values of respect, responsibility and resilience"

Gerringong Public School (designed by student Lucy del Villar)

"2021 NAIDOC Week celebrated 'Heal Country'. I hope my artwork has connected all members of our community whatever background they come from. I wanted it to depict the way our community stands together no matter what our beliefs are, or what we stand for. The Sea Eagle is an animal that represents strength and leadership which we aim to strive towards at Gerringong Public School.  The humpback whale represents our beautiful coastline that we have the up most respect for. I have also included the 'six daughters of the west wind' to show our connection to the traditional owners of this land – the Dharawal and the Wadi Wadi people. Lastly, the watercolours I used represent our Gerringong Public School colours shining down from the sun over land that we all share."