FOR Brauer College student Mendia Kermond-Clarke Friday was an important day but there is still a long way to go towards reconciliation.
The school unveiled a special stone plaque in honour of the Aboriginal people of Warrnambool and district.
The year 11 student said the plaque represented indigenous people’s rights and contribution to the community.
Speaking before Premier Denis Napthine, Warrnambool City Council mayor Michael Neoh and Moyne Shire mayor Jim Doukas, Mendia said after 200 years indigenous people were still working towards and longing for an equal nation.
Dr Napthine said the Aboriginal community was an integral part of the south-west.
He congratulated Brauer College on taking such an important and significant step in recognising Aboriginal history.
He said the stone would be an inspiration and should encourage all Aboriginal students at the school.
“Students from all walks of life and all backgrounds should understand the importance of Aboriginal culture in this region,” he said.
Dr Napthine hoped Aboriginal students would look back and say it was an important day.
The stone includes a message stick imbedded with notches symbolising the six tribes of the Maar nation in south-west Victoria, acknowledging the Kerrup-Jmara, Chaap-Whuurong, Kuurn-Kopan, Kirra-Whuurong, Yarro-Waech and Peek-Whuurong people of Warrnambool and Moyne regions.
Brauer College principal Jane Boyle said although there was a long way to go, the school was committed to working with the indigenous community to help ensure a brighter future.
She said the stone would serve as a reminder of history and the positive future that lay ahead.
The stone was unveiled as part of NAIDOC Week, which the school deferred from July until the school term.