Melba Copland Secondary School

Melba Copland Secondary School (MCSS) is a dual campus secondary school situated in the West Belconnen region of Canberra, the capital of Australia. It is the only government school in the Canberra region providing secondary education for all students from years 7 to 12, and offering both the International Baccalaureate Middle Years program (MYP) and Diploma Program (DP). MCSS provides a rich education for 21st century learners in a context of Excellence, Integrity and Harmony.

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Reconciliation week at MCSS

Posted on 10 Jun 2020

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic and social distancing requirements we had to adjust this year’s Reconciliation events.

This year marks the third annual Reconciliation event in Canberra and is now marked with a Public Holiday. The National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The dates of National Reconciliation Week remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

Melba Copland Secondary School acknowledges the traditional custodians of the ACT the Ngunnawal people, and their continuing connection to the land and community. We pay our respect to them and to the Elders both past, present and emerging.

MCSS held a range of activities to engage students and staff throughout National Reconciliation Week. A small selection of school staff were invited to participate in a traditional Smoking Ceremony, led by the school’s Indigenous Education Officer, Joe Chapman-Freeman.

Joe Chapman-Freeman began the customary ceremony by burning native plants to produce the cleansing smoke; a small number of staff were invited to walk through it to be cleansed. Belinda Whyte, a music teacher at the school and descendent of the Murrawarri people of North West, New South Wales performed ‘My Island Home’ by Christine Anu.

The ceremony was impactful for the staff who could be present and is now available to the whole school via this  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CxarmOoa0M1Nbsca7hsaOxtcej-iUI78/view?usp=sharing

**Please note: The above logo for National Reconciliation Week 2020 is based on artwork created by Biripi/Bunjalung woman Nikita Ridgeway entitled, “Reconciliation, a continuing journey of growth and togetherness.”

MCSS Cultural Integrity team



ANZAC 2020

Posted on 07 May 2020

ANZAC commemorative assembly.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic and social distancing requirements we had to cancel this year’s annual ANZAC day commemorative assembly. However, as part of our  commemorations we have had a Aleppo pine seedling planted in the garden bed of the carpark to honour the ANZACs and their sacrifice.

The pine is representative of the Gallipoli campaign where the 1st Australian Infantry Division launched a major offensive at Gallipoli on the 6th August 1915. The ridges, once covered with the Aleppo pine, had been cleared to provide cover for the Turkish trenches, leaving just one, solitary pine. The area became known as Lone Pine Ridge. After three days of fighting the Anzacs succeeded in capturing the enemy trenches, but this action cost 2000 Australian soldiers’ lives and 7,000 Turkish lives.

Lance Corporal Benjamin Charles Smith collected some pine cones from the branches used to cover the Turkish trenches. He sent the cones home to his mother, in remembrance of his brother Mark, who had died in the fighting. From one of these cones Mrs McMullin sowed several seeds, and successfully raised two seedlings. One was planted in Inverell, and the other was presented to the Australian War Memorial to be planted in the grounds in honour of all the sons who fell at Lone Pine.

Lest We Forget.



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