It’s not often students enjoy wearing their school uniform.
But the latest Warrawong High School uniform has got the thumbs up from students and staff alike.
Some of the students actually played a big role in designing the school’s first ever Koori shirt.
Warrawong High’s former Aboriginal education officer Lani Balzan led the design phase and painted the shirt with students Kyann Oatly and Naomi Hinton.
“We have about 65 indigenous kids at Warrawong High and they all want one now,” Mrs Balzan said.
“It’s not just about a uniform. This changes a lot of things for the kids in how they get to share their culture and wear it with pride.”
She said the school’s Aboriginal coordinator Rob Oczos came up with the idea late last year to design an indigenous shirt for Warrawong High.
“The meaning behind the shirt represents Warrawong,” Mrs Balzan said.
“Warrawong means windy hills and also where whiting fish swim. The fish are swimming in towards a gathering symbol to represent the school coming together.
“The six dotted areas around the shirt represents the six years of high school education.
“This shirt is for all students to wear proudly.”
At time of publication 70 shirts had already been purchased by students, staff and local elders.
A further 20 had been ordered.
“We will continue taking orders. It really is exciting to see how proud students are to wear these shirts,” Mrs Balzan said.
“All students, indigenous and non-indigenous are very proud to have their first Aboriginal school shirt.”
She added the school was lucky to have Aboriginal clothing company Bundarra design and make the shirts at a “very reasonable price”.
“I design Bundarra’s NAIDOC clothing line every year so they gave us a really good price. Kids pay only $20 for the shirts, while it costs $22 for staff,” she said.
“Rob [Oczos] has also played a pivotal part and the project wouldn’t have been possible without his support.
“I believe the students wear the shirts every Friday. It really does look fantastic.”