To highlight and strengthen connection and understanding of Indigenous culture we will hold our inaugural ‘Learningstones Week’ between 14th- 18th November 2016.

Schools will select a time slot and day for cultural activity and engagement around the Learning stone site in their school in this week.

Our aim is to have a collaborative piece of work developed between KESO, school and community which will create a unique resource, which can also be viewed online as a model and guide to those both in and outside our region.

 South Gippsland Secondary College (soon to be Foster Secondary College) is a great supporter of the Learningstones initiative. We celebrate Aboriginality and recognize our school is located on traditional lands. Education plays a vital part in strengthening local Indigenous and non- Indigenous community partnerships while ensuring the best possible outcomes for individual Indigenous students from all backgrounds. Our Learningstones site will continue to be the focal point for this endeavor.
Matt McPhee
South Gippsland Secondary College Campus Principal

Learning Stones clip is now up on our facebook page

This certainly is a special time for Learningstones as the end of another year fast approaches. This month we held our first Learningstones Week inviting many of our schools to run an activity or something of significance to highlight the work and connection through Learningstones within their local precinct. I encouraged school leaders to demonstrate the value and use of this space and the influence it can create in such a safe format. The response has been fantastic, and it clearly shows that we have moved past the ticking the box mentality. Wonthaggi Primary School asked their 4 young Indigenous students to share at a whole school assembly the meaning of and their connection to the Learningstone site. As we know public speaking can be a daunting task and for the young folk to step up and deliver – it is something they will never forget and it will help them to understand their culture and grow strong in their identity. It may seem a small step, but I know for them it is the pride of achievement and the smiles on their faces tell us we are making a difference. Well done to all involved. Keep tuned in more to be posted as it arrives.

Wonthaggi Primary School – Newsletter – Facebook page
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During this week our Koorie students have reminded us all of the importance of the Learning Stones Space (located in the front yard near the pool). The Learning Stones can be a classroom and also provide an area where students can meet, talk and spend time together. If you’d like to find out more about learning stones spaces please check out:



To celebrate the inaugural learning stones week, all the students at Newhaven primary School painted and decorated poles with handprints and designs that represent their connection to and understanding of Aboriginal culture. The poles are standing next to our original learning stone artwork and represent our school’s ongoing commitment to cultural inclusion and awareness amongst students, staff and families. This space continues to be a place where learning about culture can happen, stories shared or just a quiet place to sit and think.

Over the past few months, the students have been working on their own personal learning stories. They have used traditional symbols and their own symbols to tell a story about their personal experiences at school. During Learning Stones week, each class will spend time at the learning stone area to get together to share these stories. This has culminated in the whole school getting together to map out their learning stories on the ground at school. What an amazing sight!

We are already thinking about how we can celebrate Learning Stones week next year.

Lead Teacher Caroline Blakely

Newhaven Primary School


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At Toora Primary School, we feel so committed to the whole concept of Learning Stones that we are planning and preparing to move our Learning Stone from its current position to a much more central location in our school-grounds, with help from our local Landcare group and with guidance from KESO’s John Murray and Anne-Maree Stever. So, this time next year we will be completely involved in celebrating Learning Stones week! Yesterday, to celebrate Learning Stones week and as a follow-up to our NAIDOC celebrations, we held a special day of activities, involving all of our staff and students, supported by John Murray and parent Troy Duroux. John and Troy taught our students about different symbols and their meanings and how to burn symbols onto boomerangs. Louise Gilbertson ran engaging Literacy and Art activities and Brett Whittle took groups outdoors for Indigenous games – every student from P-6 participated in all activites throughout the day and they all had a great time, learned heaps and had a story to tell!
With our Learning Stone settled in its new home, Toora Primary School will be well and truly ready to celebrate Learning Stones week next year!
Hi John,

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When I got back to school at 3pm the kids and staff were all buzzing! They all had a sensational day.

Thankyou for making it special.

Andrea Penrose
Acting Principal
Toora Primary School

I would like to personally thank all the schools, students, teachers and community members in Bass Coast/South Gippsland and those outside our area who have been working hard to make our inaugural Learningstones ‘Sorry Day ‘ event something very special. The feedback and response has been fantastic and we are looking forward to the creative ways in which our cohorts acknowledge and support the meaning of Sorry Day.

Below is a copy of part of an email sent to schools with flyer, photo and information I sent late in term1.

Sorry Day falls on 26th of May each year and this year throughout the South Gippsland/ Bass Coast Educational precinct we would like to acknowledge the Apology and the journey of indigenous people both locally and nationally. Location, access and resources are always a challenge but I believe collaboratively we can make a powerful statement and influence not only our own patch but the rest of SEVR. My proposal is this – students from each school make cut out hand prints with colourful designs and attach these to a paddle pop stick. On the 26th May at 9.15am simultaneously we all meet at our own schools Learning Stone site to plant the hand prints. A short presentation (meaning of Sorry Day – find notes attached ) to the school assembly by school leaders, take photos, and quotes/quips and send them to to upload on both Learningstone website/

I will contact you individually to see how we can work together, and we can also make media contact to promote our initiative.

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A cold wet wintry day could not dampen the enthusiasm or anticipation of hundreds of students across Bass Coast and South Gippsland. The insistent rain may have hindered our planned gathering at the Learningstone site however the day’s event went ahead regardless as some schools remained indoors and others ventured outside. The Learningstone spirit which was the catalyst that enabled us to gather individually as a collective across the region. Collaboratively we created a forum, a presence to acknowledge and share time together in remembering this highly significant time for our Indigenous community.

pictured below

South Gippsland Secondary College
Newhaven PS
Tarwin Lower PS
Welshpool PS
San Remo PS
Nyora PS
Wonthaggi PS

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What’s happening in your school, track the ongoing cultural journey of discovery as shared by many schools as we learn together. This format provides a starting place for practical hands on experiences, shared learning and best practice.


To highlight and strengthen our connection and resource we will hold our inaugural ‘Learningstones Week’ in the last term of 2016. A calendar is being devised which will be circulated around our schools with time slots of 30 – 50 mins, on one selected day of that particular week for cultural activity and engagement around the Learning stone site in your school.

The goal is to have a collaborative piece of work developed between KESO, school and community which will create a unique resource and a ongoing format which can also be viewed online as a model and guide to those outside our region.