Dreamtime mural awakens cultural understanding

Dreamtime mural awakens cultural understanding

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Brent Miller, Gubbi Gubbi traditional ownerSimon Warner, CEO SEQ CatchmentsDreamtime MuralLeft to right: Vanessa Hounsell (SEQ Catchments), Peter Mulcahy (indigenous artist), Scott Thompson (Acting Principal), Tony Wellington (local councillor), Kathy Lavender (project coordinator), Simon Warner (SEQ Catchments CEO) and Brent Miller (Gubbi Gubbi traditional owner).
A strong spirit of reconciliation and the coming together of indigenous and later Australian culture were as thick as the welcome ceremony smoke at NAIDOC Week celebrations at Pomona State School last month.

Since successfully applying for a $10 000 Traditional Owner and Indigenous Project Support Grant from SEQ Catchments earlier this year, a dedicated group of staff members, parents, students, representatives of local indigenous groups and community volunteers, have worked to create special outdoor learning areas within the school.

“The areas have been designed to promote understanding and appreciation of Australian indigenous culture,” Michelle Jackson of the school P&C said.

“Students will now have the opportunity to learn more about our indigenous people in the beautiful setting of the outdoor yarning circle – a replica of a local historical meeting place – with its colourful mural depicting Dreamtime stories nearby."

“Students will also be able to wander through and sample produce from the recently created indigenous ‘bush tucker’ garden, planted with 400 native plants and trees.”

Many of the indigenous plants and trees were generously donated to the project by Noosa and District Landcare and Brush Turkey Enterprises from Maleny.

As identified in the new Australian Curriculum, it is a priority for all young people to gain a deeper understanding of traditional Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, the significance of these and their ongoing relevance to Australia today. The new outdoor indigenous learning spaces at Pomona State School will definitely bring this to life and engage students in learning beyond textbooks.

The project has been described by Noosa Landcare as "dynamic and culturally connecting", and Pomona State School has indeed been fortunate to have such a hard-working group of community minded people to make it happen.

Adapted from 'Dreamtime mural awakens cultural understanding at Pomona State School, Coorooy Rag, July 2013 and Coming together for NAIDOC, Noosa News, 16 July 2013.

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