Telling the story of "Fanny's Church"
Written by Ayla Williams, Community & Cultural Resource Officer, Leprena UAICC Tasmania
It is with great honour and total adoration that we announce a new segment on “The Orb” around Fanny Cochrane-Smith, our ancestral matriarch, our familial warrior woman, cultural compass.
It is hard to put in to words the strength, story and hard work that has been put in to building this resource as a collective. This is a total game changer in the realm of educational resources available to the public far and wide about Tasmanian Aboriginal history.
About the Orb for those who aren’t aware (taken from the website):
“The Orb is a collection of online multimedia resources designed to assist the teaching of Tasmanian Aboriginal histories and cultures.
The Orb reflects the holistic nature of Tasmanian Aboriginal culture and the interconnections between people, Country, culture, identity, and the living community.
The night-sky motif is inspired by creation stories and represents the deep and enduring connection Aboriginal people have with the land, sea, sky and waterways of Tasmania.
The Orb is a highly visual resource, suited to a range of learning styles. It embraces a number of Aboriginal ways of being, knowing, thinking and doing including learning through Country, narrative and cultural practice.
In educational settings, The Orb provides teachers with curriculum resources to assist the teaching of Tasmanian Aboriginal histories and cultures. It is a culturally responsive resource that reflects local values and knowledge.:
Leprena UAICC Tasmania Manager Alison Overeem (Smith) has had a monumental part in this resource and features within it frequently. She finished this project on behalf of her beloved late father, Stan Smith, who begun this journey several years ago before his health declined. As you could imagine, this makes her participation in this project even more honourable and heartfelt so I would like to publicly acknowledge her in this space as the inner strength it took to complete this task is nothing short of admirable.
There have been many tears shed and smiles shared reviewing this content in anticipation of its release. To date, there has been nothing like this around Fanny’s life, her Church and her culture from such an intimate perspective released before.
This resource beautifully encapsulates the prominence of Aboriginal history in this state, and indeed our strong historical Church ties, our spirituality and theology.
To us, this is a mark in our history, a progressive and important step in an inclusive, truth-telling education curriculum.
I would not only invite you, but strongly encourage you, to watch this resource at the link below for an immersive journey.
With special thanks also to Uncle Rodney Dillon and Bron Dillon for their efforts also and of course, to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Education Department.