National Reconciliation Week at Corio began with a Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country, performed by members of the Wathaurong community, Corrina Eccles and Norm Stanley, prior to our Whole School Assembly on Wednesday 31 May. The week's celebrations culminated with Derby Day on Saturday 3 June, which featured a Welcome to Country prior to the 1st XVIII Football match, as well as the exchange of message sticks between the captains of each sports team throughout the day.

On Friday 2 June, the SPACE hosted a screening of the award-winning documentary, Zach's CeremonyThis year's Derby Day - the annual winter sport match-up with The Geelong College - featured more than 35 GGS vs TGC fixtures. The Welcome to Country, again performed by Corrina and Norm, was observed by a bumper crowd prior to the 1st XVIII Football match. 

Vice Principal Charlie Scudamore explained the significance of the message sticks in his Senior School newsletter article published on Friday 2 June. "At the start of every game played, the captain of the Geelong Grammar School team will hand over to the opposition captain message sticks created by our Year 5 and 6 students," Vice Principal Charlie Scudamore wrote. "They will then read a short message to all who are about to play. Part of the message states: “Reconciliation is about unity and respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians. So we would like to offer Geelong College a handmade message stick as a symbol of this unity between cultures. This act is in support of Reconciliation Week and what it means between our school communities”."


NRW at GGS reached a crescendo with a Reconciliation Concert held in the SPACE following the conclusion of the day's sport.


From just one Indigenous student in 2006, Geelong Grammar School currently has 28 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled at the School.

Selected as one of the first Education Provider schools for the Federal Government’s Indigenous Youth Leadership Programme (IYLP), the School has worked closely with the not for profit organisation Yalari to provide Indigenous children from remote communities around Australia the opportunity of an exceptional education. This has been possible through a variety of scholarships, including an Indigenous scholarship programme funded entirely by Geelong Grammar School staff, which supported its first student in 2011.

The School's vision for reconciliation (as set out in our Reconciliation Action Plan (PDF 6.6MB)) is to create a learning environment that recognises and values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their rich cultures.